HARFORD COUNTY, Md. - Agriculture officials have identified a tree-killing disease in Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of beech leaf disease and the associated nematode, Litylenchus crenatae maccannii in Harford County.
The disease has been found in surrounding states including Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.
Beech leaf disease is a new disease that can affect all species of beech trees. It was first spotted in Ohio and it causes leaves to become striped and leathery and can cause branches to wither. The disease can kill some types of smaller trees in two years and mature trees in six to ten years.
There’s currently no treatment available, causing a significant threat to one of eastern North America's most important trees, experts say.
"The team will continue to monitor and report the spread of beech leaf disease as it occurs. Homeowners are encouraged to do the same," said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks.
Additional counties are being tested for the presence of the disease and the nematode. You can help by reporting symptoms of beech leaf disease here.