beech leaf disease

a photo of a leaf with beech leaf disease
JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU

A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests, the beech. 

Known for its smooth gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. 

No one knows exactly what causes Beech Leaf Disease, but a team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of culprits in this botanical whodunit.

beech tree nut
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

Researchers say they are stumped by a disease that’s infecting beech trees in Northeast Ohio.

Beech leaf disease can be identified by curling leaves with dark stripes. The leaves fall earlier than normal and prevents the tree from blooming the next season.

Mike Watson, conservation biologist at Holden Arboretum, says the cause of the disease and how it spreads is unknown.