CANKER STAIN OF PLANE TREES: A SERIOUS DANGER TO URBAN PLANTINGS IN EUROPE

A. Panconesi

Abstract


A brief synthesis is given of what is known about canker stain of plane trees caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata f.sp. platani. This knowledge mainly concerns the morphology, taxonomy and biology of the fungus and relations between host and parasite. The epidemiological data highlight the destructiveness of the disease and its potential danger to all street plantings of Platanus acerifolia in Europe. In the matter of control the effectiveness of chemical and biological control measures is underlined, as well as the serious difficulties encountered in genetic improvement, owing mainly to the genetic uniformity of the host tree and the great variability of the pathogen. Prevention, which in Italy has now been made a legal requirement, also has not produced the desired results because of technical difficulties in raising and tending street trees and the problem of finding funds quickly when an insect pest or an epidemic strikes. Nevertheless, prevention, if carried out systematically and rigorously, can reduce the incidence of canker stain in infection centres and prevent its spread to unaffected areas. Meanwhile genetic improvement may succeed in producing C. fimbriata resistant individuals of the plane tree that are adapted to European environmental conditions.

Keywords


plane tree; Ceratocystis fimbriata f.sp. platani; canker stain

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4454/jpp.v81i1.1041

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EDIZIONI ETS, Pisa, Italy