Beech Leaf Disease Confirmed in Warren County

Beech Leaf Disease Confirmed in Warren County

BOLTON—Beech leaf disease (BLD) has been confirmed on the Town of Bolton’s Edgecomb Pond parcel, making it the first verified occurrence of the invasive forest pest in Warren County.

The affected trees are located along a trail that runs through the property. DEC forest health technicians made the discovery this field season when monitoring the Cat and Thomas mountains area.

The first confirmed case of BLD in the Adirondacks was in Herkimer County in 2022; it was first confirmed in the U.S. in 2012.

“The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program’s forest pest research assistant will be doing additional surveys in the area to help us better determine the extent of the infestation,” said APIPP Terrestrial Invasive Species Project Coordinator Becca Bernacki. “The most important thing we can do at this point is to gather as much data as possible.”

Bernacki added that APIPP is also training volunteers to look for the disease through its Forest Pest Hunters program. A free webinar, “Forest Pest Hunters: Surveying for Beech Leaf Disease,” is being offered from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2

“The upcoming training will teach people how to identify and report beech leaf disease,” Bernacki said. “We will emphasize the importance of gaining an understanding of how big the newly discovered infestation is, but we also need people to be on the lookout for BLD across the Adirondacks.”

Community scientists, like those who participate in APIPP’s Forest Pest Hunters program, are invaluable to BLD research. By reporting where BLD is present in the Adirondacks and where it is not yet found, volunteers contribute data to the greater cause of protecting the region’s beech forests.

Collecting data is essential because, although scientists currently think BLD is linked to a nematode worm, it’s unclear if the worm is the full cause. Exactly what causes the disease, how it spreads, and how to manage it are all unknown.

One thing scientists do know is how devastating BLD is to forests. It can eventually kill affected trees, with current data from the Midwest showing that saplings die after a few years and mature trees die in six to 10 years.

The disease also moves fast. It was first confirmed in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties in 2019, and since then its symptoms—which include dark striping between the leaf veins, leaf curling, and a leathery leaf texture—have been found on beech trees throughout that region.

Since beech nuts are a major food source for many Adirondack animals, a large die-off of these trees would mean a serious lack of sustenance for wildlife ranging from birds to bears.

“Forest Pest Hunters: Surveying for Beech Leaf Disease” is 10-11:30 a.m. on Aug. 2 and is being co-sponsored by the Adirondack Mountain Club. To register for this free online training, visit

For more information on APIPP’s Forest Pest Hunters program, visit

APIPP’s mission is to work in partnership to minimize the impact of invasive species on the Adirondack region’s communities, lands, and waters. Learn more at 


The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) serves as the Adirondack Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), one of eight partnerships across New York. APIPP is hosted by The Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and receives financial support from the Environmental Protection Fund administered by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.