First record of ash dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus on Fraxinus excelsior in the Apennines (Tuscany, Italy).
In July 2015, symptomatic trees of Fraxinus excelsior were observed in Tuscany in central Italy (Montepiano). Symptoms included blackish discoloration of leaves, necrotic leaf rachises, wilting and leaf dropping, dieback of shoots, twigs and branches and necrosis of bark tissue. Isolations were made from symptomatic leaf petioles, rachises, and twigs after surface sterilization with sodium hypochlorite and ethanol. The causal pathogen was identified as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus based on cultural, morphological and genetic (ITS) analyses. This is thought to be the first report of H. fraxineus in central Italy in the Apennines, an area strongly influenced by Mediterranean climatic conditions.