Pest & Disease Factsheet - Plane anthracnose

Take action to avoid this disease causing dieback and rendering plants unsaleable

Plane anthracnos - image: Dove Associates
Plane anthracnos - image: Dove Associates

Plane anthracnose is a broad-spectrum disease that attacks other tree genera, causing rapid, patchy leaf and stem dieback leading to unsaleable plants. It can be particularly prevalent on container-grown crops where some feeding regimes can encourage lush growth, which will make trees more vulnerable.

How to recognise it

The disease is caused by the fungus Apiognomonia errabunda, which can also attack other tree species including Fagus, Quercus and Tilia. Plants of all ages are vulnerable to the disease, although most will survive.

For trees grown commercially the foliage damage may render them unsaleable. In many cases infected plants drop their leaves during the summer months.


More prevalent in cool, damp conditions, the disease is spread by water splash so infection levels may be patchy through a crop.

Apiognnmonia errabunda can infect trees either as a sexual form of the fungus, producing spores (perithecia) on fallen leaves, or as a conidial form on foliage, stems and buds.

The fungal spores that are formed can be numerous, can spread long distances and have the ability to adapt to a range of temperatures and conditions.


- Buds fail to open in the spring.

- Stem dieback occurs as the infection spreads from buds back down towards the main trunk.

This initially looks like frost or drought damage.

- Infected twigs can produce cankers along their stems, leading to girdling and dieback.

- Young developing shoots can suddenly wilt, dropping any leaves that have formed.

- Orange-brown staining can be seen under affected bark.

- Leaves on infected trees show brown staining along the main vein.

Treatment: biological control

There are currently no biological control agents available to regulate this disease.

Treatment: cultural control

The disease is not as active in hot, dry conditions. Plants growing in the shade appear to be more vulnerable to infection.

Cut back to good wood to remove any cankered stems. Most infected plants usually start to show some level of recovery by the end of the season. This is mainly due to the fungus becoming dormant in the summer months. However, it is still important to clear up and burn any fallen leaves to prevent re-infection the following spring.

Platanus occidentalis is very susceptible to this disease. Platanus orientalis is resistant. Platanus x hispanica can produce different levels of infection and symptoms depending on the clone being grown. P. x hispanica 'Bloodgood' is a good example of useful disease resistance.

Treatment: chemical control

Active ingredient Azoxystrobin

FRAC code 11

Formulation Amistar* (Syngenta)

Action(s) Systemic, protectant fungicide.

Active ingredient Captan

FRAC code M4

Formulation Captan 80 WDG* (Adama)

Action(s) Protectant fungicide.

Active ingredient Chlorothalonil

FRAC code M5

Formulation Bravo 500* (Syngenta)

Action(s) Protectant fungicide.

Active ingredient Copper oxychloride

FRAC code M1

Formulation Cuprokylt* (Certis)

Action(s) Protectant fungicide with eradicant properties.

Active ingredient Cyprodinil + fludioxinil

FRAC code 9 + 12

Formulation Switch (Syngenta)

Action(s) Systemic, translaminar fungicide with protectant and curative action as well as long residual activity.

Active ingredient Kresoxim-methyl

FRAC code 11

Formulation Stroby WG (BASF)

Action(s) Systemic, protectant fungicide.

Active ingredient Mancozeb

FRAC code M3

Formulations Dithane 945* (various), Karamate Dry Flo Neotec (Landseer)

Action(s) Contact protectant fungicide.

Active ingredient Boscalid + pyraclostrobin

FRAC codes 7 + 11

Formulation Signum* (BASF)

Action(s) Eradicant and protectant systemic fungicide.

Fully updated by Dove Associates

Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

* EAMU required for use in ornamental plant production outdoors and/or under protection.

Dove Associates shall in no event be liable for the loss or damage to any crops or biological control agents caused by the use of products mentioned.

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