First record of Chalara fraxinea in Slovenia
In Slovenia, the first symptoms of ash dieback appeared in autumn 2006 in the eastern part of the country, near the Hungarian border. In some places, more than 60% of the young trees (up to 2 m high) were dead. In spring 2007, ash dieback was noticed on a much wider area. It affected not only young trees but mature trees which were also dying. Investigations showed that the disease was present in most areas of the Slovenian territory, and that the eastern part was more affected. First attempts to identify the causal agent were made in 2007 but were unsuccessful (most probably because of the slow growth of the fungus which was overgrown in culture by other saprophytic fungi). In July 2008, Chalara fraxinea (EPPO Alert List) was isolated from samples of bark and wood of Fraxinus excelsior collected from various sites across Slovenia. The fungus species was determined by the officially approved laboratory of the Slovenian Forestry Institute. Surveys will be implemented to determine the geographical extent of the disease and research will be carried out, in particular on the biology of C. fraxinea and the development of molecular diagnostic tools. This is the first report of C. fraxinea in Slovenia.
The pest status of Chalara fraxinea in Slovenia is officially declared as: Present, in all parts of the area where host plants are grown.
NPPO of Slovenia, 2009-01.