Summary A study was carried out on Rosellinia necatrix attack on young woody plants, as possibly affected by selected soil features under three water regimes. Six different soil systems representing five agro‐environments and
one forest in the Puglia Region (southern Italy – Mediterranean climate) were compared. R. necatrix attack on sweet cherry trees was simulated using artificial inoculum and saplings of Prunus mahaleb, the most widely used rootstock of sweet and sour cherries, monitored
during the spring period. Soil features significantly influenced disease score, which did not differ from one water regime to another, even though disease level in the different soils was affected by water content. Rosellinia mahaleb saplings grown in forest soil showed the highest
disease score, which differed significantly from that observed in all the agricultural soils tested in this study. Amongst these, disease score was lower in sandy soils than in soils that were richer in loamy fraction.