Beech Leaf Disease

Beech leaf disease

Jim Chatfield, OSU Extension

Host and Distribution

Beech Leaf Disease (BLD) is a foliar disease of American beech, European beech and Oriental beech caused by the Asian nematode Litylenchus crenatae and potentially by several bacteria’s and fungi the nematode transmits. First discovered in 2012 in Ohio, the disease has now been located as far east as Maine and was first detected in New Hampshire in 2022.



Nematode feeding can begin at bud break causing dark banding between the veins of tender foliage. As the season progresses and damage worsens the leaves become leathery in texture and dark banding can turn yellow and kill affected branch tips.


Serious decline and mortality of beech seems to take 3-6 years depending on the vigor of infested trees. There is no recommended treatment at this time and research is ongoing to determine the mode of spread. Transportation of live beech plant material should be severely limited. 

If you observe symptoms of BLD submit a report.

Beech Leaf Disease Pest Alert