Beech Leaf disease now confirmed to be found in Maryland ecosystems

08 September 2023- The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of beech leaf disease and the associated nematode, Litylenchus crenatae maccannii in Harford County. Beech leaf disease is a new disease affecting all beech species including American beech (Fagus grandifolia). The disease has been found in surrounding states including Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine. 

Beech Leaf Disease causes a dark banding or striping between the leaf veins.  Trees with severe symptoms are heavily banded with yellowing, shrunken, and thickened leaves. The disease can kill understory trees in two years and mature trees in six to ten years. Treatments for are currently being researched. 

“I applaud the department’s Forest Pest team for their quick action on identifying this disease,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “The team will continue to monitor and report the spread of Beech Leaf disease as it occurs.  Homeowners are encouraged to do the same.” 

To report symptoms of Beech Leaf Disease data can be entered on the Tree Health Survey app (https://treehealthapp) or reported by email to For additional information visit the UMD Extension Website at: Additional Counties are being tested for presence of the BLD and the nematode. Permanent survey plots have been set up across Maryland since 2019.