Beech Diseases

Informational table showing disease name, symptoms, pathogen/cause, and management of Beech diseases.
Beech Diseases - Articles


Bark diseaseCircular to horizontal elliptic cankers form on the bark. Cracks form in the cankered bark. As large areas of bark are affected, the tree is girdled and killed. White wooly specks observed on the bark in August are wooly beech scales. The fungus that invades after scale feeding forms red, pimple-like fruiting structures in the cankers.Cryptococcus (Wooly beech scale) attacks the tree and opens wounds invaded by the fungus Nectria.Control the wooly beech scale. There is no control of the fungus.
Bleeding cankerLarge cankers form on the major roots and trunk and may extend several feet up the trunk. The fungus enters wounds and succulent roots. Well-defined cankers have reddish-brown margins. Reddish-brown sap oozes from the cankers. Eventually, new leaves remain small and yellow and branches begin to die.Phytophthora spp.Remove the infected tree and do not replace it until the soil has been fumigated and aerated thoroughly.
Laetiporus root rotThe bark is slightly depressed and cracked in areas on trees with dying limbs. Infected trees are very prone to wind breakage. Massive clusters of bright, sulfur-yellow to salmon to bright-orange, shelf-like fruiting structures that turn white with age initially form in the summer or autumn on the wood of the tree but fall off during the winter. The underside of the fruiting structure has tiny pores in which the spores are formed. New shelves form on the wood the following summer and autumn. Fruiting occurs long after most of the damage has been done.Laetiporus sulfureus (formerly Polyporus sulfureus)Remove the tree at the first sign of infection since it poses a very serious treat to life and property.

Beech bark disease

Phytophthora-caused bleeding cankers

Prepared by Gary W. Moorman, Professor of Plant Pathology