V. malicola is associated with dieback of Malus twigs, especially those weakened by other factors, for example when frozen, burnt, wounded, injured by insects or attacked by other pathogens.
It is found on dead or dying twigs of Maloideae (Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Cydonia, Malus, Pyracantha, Pyrus, Rosa) but only infrequently on other members of the Rosaceae (e.g. Prunus) when it is present mainly as the anamorph. Both conidia and ascospores are air-borne, especially under humid conditions. Brightly coloured droplets or tendrils of conidia are often exuded from conidiomata after rain.
It is found in Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Republic of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia. Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine. North America.