Beech Tree leaves dying

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Beech Tree leaves dying (brown spots, brown leaves, black, falling off).
Not just a few, all of the leaves !
Northeast Ohio, heavily wooded areas.
I have lots of Beech on 10 acres of "forest".

My Beech trees (and neighborhood) seem to have a major problem.
Both old & very young are affected.
No apparent aphids on the top or bottom.
I checked visually, & w/ a 30X stereo microscope.
I'm not an expert, but it doesn't look like anthracnose fungus. No pin head pimples on back side, or along veins.
Significantly less rain than a normal spring.
Relatively mild winter.

No other tree species seem affected.

The few samples I checked do have a few clusters of very, very small egg shaped clusters on the bottom.
The clusters are a couple mm wide, and a few mm long.
Individual "eggs" are very small.

Interestingly, the "eggs" are clear. At first, I thought they were foam. (Maybe they are ? ? ?)

I have a "Certified Arborist Tree Disease Specialist" coming to look on Tuesday.
I want to be more informed, to ask the right questions.

Thoughts ?
 
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mrtree

Well-Known Member
First off what is a "Certified Arborist Tree Disease Specialist"? I cannot find any certification or qualification for this? Is this an ISA CA that has added a new title to their name?

As for what is wrong it seems rather odd that all leaves on such a broad spectrum are affected. I think you are outside of BBD but not sure.

I would be looking to see if your trees are stressed with beech bark disease and kretzschmaria. Seems to be a common combination.

Also consider beech blight aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) as the eggs.

You have one of the best resources in the USA at your doorstep. http://www.isa-arbor.com/events/schedule/item.aspx?SubEventID=76
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
"Certified Arborist Tree Disease Specialist" - my term.
My local tree service owner (Certified Aborist, etc) recently hired a Tree Disease Specialist.

"it seems rather odd that all leaves on such a broad spectrum are affected. I think you are outside of BBD but not sure."
Broad spectrum ??? - only Beech ???
BBD ??? [Beech Bark Disease - got it]

Thanks.
 
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GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think you are outside of BBD but not sure.
I would be looking to see if your trees are stressed with beech bark disease and kretzschmaria. Seems to be a common combination.
Also consider beech blight aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) as the eggs.
Not Beech bark, kretzschmaria, or Beech blight aphid (at least I could not find any adults.)
Based on Wikipedia info & photos.

Every Beech on my 1 mile long street, that I can see, is effected.
That's at least 50 trees (1" to ~20")
I thought there might be one possible exception; however, on closer inspection, I think that it is just in the earler stages.

All of the leaves will be lost.

I'm going out to survey my 10 area plot today, prior to the specialist visit tomorrow.

Thanks.
 
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mrtree

Well-Known Member
Too early for adults to be running around, another couple of weeks.

Broad spectrum - young and old, odd for many diseases as they often attack size or ecological classes (i.e. in sun or nor, too wet etc.).

Talk to Joe Boggs to start he is somewhere near you and his colleagues are pretty good. Also speak to David Roberts at MSU.

Skip Wiki and turn to Managing Insects and Mites on Woody Plants by Davidson and Raupp. This is a good starting point. You can also email Dr. Raupp, he is extremely helpful with insects.
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
OK, but the eggs aren't the ones destroying the leaves ? ? ?

I have Contacted:
Local Tree Disease specialist.
Ohio - Division of Forestry (since 10 acres are designated)
Ohio (OSU) Cooperative Extension Service
Holden Arboretum - Plant Records Curator (Ethan Johnson)
KT Smith
 
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GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Holden Arboretum reports a similar problem. (Major facility w/ 3600 acres in Kirtland, OH - NE Ohio) - 10 miles from me.
Cause is unknown.
They are checking European & Asian Beech.
 
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GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Update: Not Good !

Today Mike Breth (Certified Arborist from Independent Tree Service) toured the woods w/ me.
Mike even cut some saplings to check for vascular damage & found nothing wrong.

He sent me the June 9, 2014, "Mysterious affliction killing beech trees" article, by Jim McCormac.

Link: http://jimmccormac.blogspot.com/2014/06/mysterious-affliction-killing-beech.html?m=1

This is clearly the problem ! ! !

The article states:

"First signs of infestation involve dark striping on the green leaves as one looks into the backlit canopy ...." (the leaves look green & normal when viewed from the top)

"The affected foliage then withers, dries, and yellows, ...........Ultimately the diseased trees die ...."

My trees are in much worse condition than shown in the article photos.

I have 10 acres in "forestry", which is largely maple, beech, tulip, etc. (designated by Ohio - Div of Forestry in early 1990's)
The Beech range in size from <1" to ~36" Diam. (hundreds of beech trees)

100 % of my Beech are severely affected by this "black strip-to brown-die off" leaf infestation.

Many (most ?) of my leaves have this black stripping (when backlit); but they seem to go directly to brown & dead. There is no apparent "yellowing".

The street I live on is 1 mile long.
100% of the Beech visible from the street are severely affect.

"Severe" means 90+% of the leaves on 1" to 8" trees are gone.
 

mrtree

Well-Known Member
Well now is your chance to partner with a plant pathology lab and find out what it is and then publish in the academic literature and arborist magazines.
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Holden Arboretum (Kirtland, Ohio) has reported that this Beech Leaf Disease has infected European & Asian Beech in their collection as well as American Beech ! ! !
 

KTSmith

Well-Known Member
Dang indeed! Sounds like the right groups are working on it, but I don't think I know the folks doing the actual research. Of course, there are far fewer forest pathologists now than when I started. But maybe this is a quality + luck proposition rather than a numbers game. Thanks Greg for the follow-through.
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Update - 6/22/16:

Many of my severely affected Beech ( up to ~ 90 % leaf symptoms or loss), have started pushing out new leaves in the last few weeks.
So far, them look pretty healthy.

However, these late sprouting of leaves are few & just at the tips.
They are more of a lime green, rather than the dark green.

John Pogacnik, has confirmed that he has also seen this.
It does not mean that they are in "recovery". :(
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
Beech Tree Leaf Disease Progression ?

The cause is still unknown.

This was first reported in 2012, in Lake Co. Ohio, which is ~ 10 miles North of me.
I am ~ 30 miles due East of Cleveland, Ohio.
The disease has been reported in NY & PA. (I don't know where exactly.)

Who has seen this East, West and South of Cleveland ? City, Zip, miles from Cleveland ?

Link to description: http://portal.treebuzz.com/beech-tree-leaf-disease-no-known-cause-1036
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
Sad to hear. Reminds me of the Dutch Elm disease epidemic from the '70s. Nature has a way of rebounding....eventually. Hopefully someone will find the root of the problem. Hey maybe it's in the roots??? I'm from NY. When I get back from vacation I will look at the beach trees in my area.
 

GregManning

Super Moderator
Staff member
The EXPERTS have been looking at roots, bacteria, virus, bugs, crud, soil, ..................
Their still looking ............
Thanks Craig.

If I get enough responses, I might try to make a Progression Map ?
 
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