A doomed copper beech succumbing to the disease

Beech Leaf Disease

This disease, which is associated with a nematode, arrived in Massachusetts in 2021 and has been proliferating at an alarming rate. This invasive pest has no natural deterrent in our area. Defoliation and eventual death of individual shade trees and entire forests are a current reality in many areas of eastern MA.

Symptoms include:

  • Dark bands between the veins of leaves
  • Leaves are cupped, deformed, shriveled and may be smaller than usual
  • Leaves can be thick and have a leathery texture
  • Premature leaf drop.
  • Aborted buds leading to sparse leaf cover
  • Thinning canopy

New treatments are being tested and employed to combat this disease. For more information on BLD and possible remedies, try these links:



A close up of a damaged leaf

An entire forest of American beech decimated