Battling beech bark disease: establishment of beech seed orchards in Michigan
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Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society. 58 (1 & 2): 11-14.
Amidst the dead, dying, and deformed beech trees left in the wake of beech bark disease (BBD), we are fortunate to find beech trees that remain healthy even in heavily infested areas. In stands across several US states it has been reported that disease-free beech trees are often found in clusters, providing evidence that resistance could be a genetic trait. Trees located in close proximity are likely to be closely related - either clonally through root-sprouting or as full- or half-sib seedlings. BBD is initiated by feeding activities of the beech scale insect (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lind.), which create wounds that serve as entry points for Neonectria spp. of fungi. It is the fungal component of the disease complex that weakens and kills the tree. However, David Houston, retired US Forest Service plant pathologist and BBD research pioneer, demonstrated that beech trees that remained healthy despite intense BBD pressure failed to allow beech scale insects to establish even when eggs were directly affixed to the bark.
Koch, Jennifer L.; Heyd, Robert L. 2013. Battling beech bark disease: establishment of beech seed orchards in Michigan. Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society. 58 (1 & 2): 11-14.