EPPO Platform
on PRAs

Scientific Opinion on the pest categorisation of Ceratocystis platani (Walter) Engelbrecht et Harrington


The European Commission requested the EFSA Panel on Plant Health to perform a pest categorisation for Ceratocystis fimbriata f. sp. platani Walter, the fungal pathogen responsible for the “canker stain” disease of plane trees. Cfimbriata f. sp. platani is listed in Annex IIAII of Directive 2000/29/EC. Recently, the pathogen has been reclassified as Ceratocystis platani (Walter) Engelbrecht et Harrington, based on intersterility studies, progeny analysis and the morphology of isolates from different hosts. C. platani is a single taxonomic entity and sensitive and reliable methods are available for its detection and differentiation from other related fungal species. The only known hosts are Platanus occidentalisPlatanus orientalis and Platanus × acerifolia. The last two plane species are the most susceptible to C. platani and are widely grown in most of the European Union Member States. C. platani is a wound pathogen causing canker and wilt and eventually death of plane trees. It is currently present in part of the risk assessment area (Greece, France, Italy), where it causes serious consequences on P. orientalis and P. × acerifolia trees grown in natural stands, coppices, and public and private gardens in both rural and urban environments. There are no obvious ecological/climatic factors limiting the potential establishment and spread of the pathogen in the non-infested part of the risk assessment area where hosts are present. C. platani has multiple natural and human-assisted means of spread, including waterways, root anastomosis, contaminated pruning tools, insects, contaminated insect frass and sawdust. The movement of infected host plants for planting and wood is considered to be responsible for the introduction of the pathogen into new areas. Cultural practices and sanitary and chemical measures applied in the infested areas may reduce inoculum sources but they cannot eliminate the pathogen. Plane accessions resistant to C. platani are available in the European market.


  • Ceratocystis platani


  • Platanus


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