Beech Bark Disease or BBD is the result of an insect and fungal infestation. First, the non-native beech scale insect feeds on the tree. This results in creating holes and cracks in the bark. Next, the native canker fungi
What is Beech Bark Disease
BBD is caused by an invasive beech scale insect, Cryptococcus fagisuga. Introduced into Nova Scotia at the end of the 19th-century, beech scale is now present across the northeast. Detected in the mid-20th-century in New York State, if your landscape includes American beech trees this is a disease you should understand.
The problem starts when beech scale feeds on your tree. Firstly, using their sucking mouthparts, scales pierce the bark of the tree to suck out the sap. This produces small wounds and weakens the tree. Moreover, the feeding holes provide entry to native fungi. Next, fungi enters the tree and produces the tell-tale cankers.
Finally, Beech Bark Disease weakens infected trees and increases the chances of ‘beech snap’. That is where the trunk of
Identifying Beech Bark Disease
Scale insects appear as white woolly bumps on limbs and trunks. Depending on the level of infestation,
Neonectria fungus attacks damaged beech trees by entering through beech scale feeding holes. Once infected a beech may show smaller, yellowing leaves and reduced canopy. Ultimately, cankers will cover the trunk. Moreover, the fruiting bodies of the fungus will show-up as small red dots in the late summer and fall.
While treatment options for beech in a forest setting are limited by cost and logistics, homeowners have treatment options for Beech Bark Disease. One, physically
Look for Resistant Trees
Approximately 0.1-5% of American beech trees are resistant to beech scale. You can identify a resistant tree in the killing front or aftermath front. The killing front is a region where there are large amounts of beech scale and fungus is killing trees. Whereas the aftermath front is where a forest has already experienced a beech die off. In these areas, you might find resistant trees. A resistant tree will be at least 9 inches in diameter and be free of scale while in proximity to trees heavily infested with beech scale.
Tree Services for Beech in Webster
Do you have American beech on your property? If so, you may need help identifying Beech Bark Disease and/or removing dead or dying trees. In either case, let Arbor Tree Experts know. Established in Webster in 1985 we are a fully licensed and insured tree service in Webster. Our team includes ISA certified Webster arborists working to ANSI standards. We offer tree removal as well as stump grinding and pruning. Likewise, we can help you choose the best trees for your unique landscape. Contact us for a quote.