Beech Tree Resistance Mike Leonard
June 7, 2009

Dale,

Did you notice any beech trees with any resistance to the disease?
Foresters should strive to retain "smooth barked beech" or beech trees
that show partial to full resistance to the disease. They may only
represent a small percentage of beech so it's important we try and
promote these resistant trees.
Beech is a small component of the white pine, hardwood "transitional"
forest where most of my work is in north central MA but in the
Berkshires of western MA there's often a lot of that miserable beech
regeneration. The only way to control it is through herbicide
applications.

Mike


Mike,

None stick out in my memory.  I only mention 90% in that not all of them had
succumbed, but whether the remaining ~10% will survive is still something to
be seen.  It appeared that all mature/ancient beech had it, it just depended
as to what extent.

I totally agree with beech in the forest setting.  We may often hear to just
cut them all down, but that means removing any chance of any resistant trees
to survive.  At Cook Forest, they've decided to leave the "forest setting"
beech go, but a couple of years ago they removed any beech that had the
disease around heavily used public areas (campground, etc.) because of
safety issues.  It's still working through beech around the campground that
were spared on the first wave.

Dale Luthringer


Dale,

Large disease free beech is a rare sight. But what a sight they are if
you are lucky to see one. More common are beech that are partially
resistant. While you may see most beech trees ravaged by the disease and
covered by hideous and decaying cankers, in the midst of those you might
see beech that is mostly smooth barked and where smaller cankers are
appearing to heal over. On those beech trees that appear mostly
resistant, is there something in the bark that the European Beech Scale
doesn't like? Fewer openings by the scale insect mean less opportunity
for Nectria canker to colonize which means the tree doesn't have to try
and fight on too many fronts so they are more successful in walling off
the cankers that do become established.

The US Forest Service have done some studies which suggest ways to try
and limit beech regeneration during timber harvesting like logging in
winter when the ground is frozen so as not to disturb the beech roots
which sprout prolifically and you may not get as much stump sprouting
from the beech either.

European beech was a commonly planted ornamental and I see big ones on
occasion when I go to suburbia. How are they able to resist Beech Bark
Disease?

Mike


Mike-
In the years I 'forested' in SE Kentucky, I saw many smooth-barked, either disease-free or -resistant beech, in the 18" to 30" diameter classes.  While I hated getting whipped in the face by the little sapling branches where regeneration was thick, I liked them as a species...they did have a weakness in mountainous country with a lot of wildfires...their thin bark did little to protect them, and it was real common to have the topside of the base burned out from fires that would get 'captured' there.  Eventually after repeated exposure to fires, they'd two-, three-, or four-legged from being hollow inside. I hated to see them along fire-lines as they were a challenge to fall, on-fire or not.
That was in the late-80's, don't know how they're doing these days...
-Don Bertolette


RE: [ENTS] Re: Hearts Content TionestaMike,

You write, "While you may see most beech trees ravaged by the disease and covered by hideous and decaying cankers, in the midst of those you might see beech that is mostly smooth barked and where smaller cankers are appearing to heal over."  I spend a fair amount of time hiking around and would like to be able to distinguish beech trees that are resistant.  I can mostly visualize the effect you are describing and will watch for it.  I am familiar with unaffected beech, and with beech dying from canker and infection.  I am just not sure I have seen any with the canker scars healing. Do you have, or are there photos on the web that illustrate this phenomena?

Ed


Ed,

You know how it is; you never have a camera when you need one. I know
you guys carry cameras with you all the time and maybe I should too when
I go in the woods. Iíll try and take some shots of beech trees this
summer.

Earlier in the year I wish I had my camera to take some shots of some
rather extraordinary beaver girdling. There was a 24Ē+ DBH white ash
that was girdled and then I saw an oak where the beaver made a notch ĺ
the way through nut somehow the tree didnít drop!

Mike


Mike,

I'm in the same boat as Ed when it comes to being able to identify disease
resistant beech...

I either see them clean in sites with no disease, or see some clean in sites
with the disease.  But, since Cook is likely somewhere in the middle/end of
the "wave", I'm not sure what disease resistant ones look like after the
wave has passed.

I have seen a few beech over the years that show a series of "nodules" on
the lower section of trunk.  Kind of like a warty/healing texture on the
bark, say about slightly smaller than a golf ball, and many of them packed
tightly together.  But, this type of character was present on beech before
the disease "wave" got here.  I figured it was healing from some sort of
attack, be it insect or otherwise, but still haven't had anyone be able to
tell me exactly how they got there.  Maybe this is the character, or
something similar, that you're trying to describe to look for disease
resitant trees...

Dale


Dale,

                I saw a similar "noduled" 18" DBH beech on a woodlot
yesterday. It was covered in these small bumps all up and down and
around the tree like little ski moguls. The crown of this large beech
looked very good. So I would consider that beech to be partially
resistant because those nodules are actually healed over cankers. I
would retain a tree like that because large mast bearing beech trees
with decent live crowns are rare in these parts.

                Mike


Mike,

"ski mogels"... yeh, that's the character.  I agree, they should definitely
be left in tact.

Dale Luthringer


Continued at:

http://groups.google.com/group/entstrees/browse_thread/thread/2ef6b7955c8d4cca?hl=en