Olive plantations and tree nurseries are economically and ecologically important agricultural sectors. However, Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium dahliae Kleb., is a serious problem in olive-growing regions and in tree nurseries worldwide. In this review we describe common and differentiating aspects of Verticillium wilts in some of the main economically woody hosts. The establishment of new planting sites on infested soils, the use of infected plant material and the spread of highly virulent pathogen isolates are the main reasons of increasing problems with Verticillium wilt in tree cultivation. Therefore, protocols for quick and efficient screening of new planting sites as well as planting material for V. dahliae prior to cultivation is an important measure to control Verticillium wilt disease. Furthermore, screening for resistant genotypes that can be included in breeding programs to increase resistance to Verticillium wilt is an important strategy for future disease control. Collectively, these strategies are essential tools in an integrated disease management strategy to control Verticillium wilt in tree plantations and nurseries.