KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Adirondack Park’s fight against invasive species is defined by those who do the fighting. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) is a major player in that effort, spreading information on species that could threaten the ecology of the Adirondacks. As they’ll tell you, though, the fight to keep the park safe lies in everyone’s hands.

On Thursday, Sept. 15, APIPP is hosting a virtual webinar to spread the word on beech leaf disease – not invasive in the way a plant or insect from another part of the world can be, but a threat on its own. From 10-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, attendees can learn about current research on the pathogen, as well as how they can help by reporting identifiable cases of the disease in trees.

Beech leaf disease was first spotted in the U.S. within the last decade, showing up in Ohio in 2012. The disease made its way to New York in 2018, and in 2022, the DEC has identified it in over 30 New York counties. It is believed to be carried by a nematode work, but it is not yet known if other methods of spread exist.

Although research is still ongoing on how the disease spreads and works, its impact is deadly. Beech leaf disease is known to kill mature beech trees in 6-10 years, and can take down younger trees as quickly as within 2-3 years. Currently, most reported cases have shown up at the southern and western ends of New York, save for some cases in Herkimer County in the southwestern Adirondacks.