Thousand cankers disease found in Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna and Toscana (Italy)
As reported in EPPO RS 2016/153, both the fungus Geosmithia morbida and its vector Pityophthorus juglandis (Coleoptera: Scolytidae - walnut twig beetle) the causal agents of thousand cankers disease (EPPO A2 List) were recorded for the first time in Europe in the Veneto region in 2013 and in Piemonte in 2015. Phytosanitary measures are being applied, aiming at eradication in Piemonte and at containment in Veneto. At the end of 2016, the demarcated area for of thousand cankers disease in Veneto was 95 749 ha. Official surveys are performed in different regions of Italy.
A single infested tree was detected in Lombardia in 2016 (18 km away from the outbreak in Piemonte). The infested tree and neighbouring trees within a surrounding area of 500 m were destroyed.
In Toscana, G. morbida and P. juglandis were first found in April 2018 in a walnut plantation for wood production (6000 m2) in Rosano (province of Firenze). The plantation included mainly Juglans nigra trees with scattered J. regia. Only J. nigra trees were found to be infested. Other walnut plantations located in the area near the outbreak (also monitored with traps) did not show any symptoms of infestation. In January 2019, the whole infested plantation was destroyed. Further surveys will be conducted to detect any new infestation.
In Emilia-Romagna G. morbida and P. juglandis were first found in February 2019 in the municipality of Luzzara in symptomatic J. nigra trees along a minor road. The trees are being destroyed and a demarcated area has been established.
The pest status of Geosmithia morbida in Italy is officially declared as: Present, only in some parts of the Member State concerned.
EU (2017) Final report of an audit carried out in Italy from 12 September 2016 to 23 September 2016 in order to evaluate the situation and control for thousand canker disease. DG(SANTE) 2016-8796-MR. http://ec.europa.eu/food/audits-analysis/audit_reports/details.cfm?rep_id=3795
Moricca S, Bracalini M, Benigno A, Ginetti B (2019) Disease Note. Thousand cankers disease caused by Geosmithia morbida and its insect vector Pityophthorus juglandis first reported on Juglans nigra in Tuscany, Central Italy. Plant Disease 103(2) p 369. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-07-18-1256-PDN
NPPO of Italy (2018-11, 2019-02, 2019-04).