The Demise of the Boxwood

First, it was Boxwood Dieback, then Boxwood Decline, then Boxwood Mites, Winter Burn, Nematodes, and finally Boxwood Blight. This time it’s for real! Boxwood Blight is an extremely dangerous disease that will kill and spread to all Boxwoods on a property. Yes, some species are more resistant to the disease; however, they could be vectors of the disease, waiting to spread to other plants.

How Do You Spot Boxwood Blight?

Not sure what to look for? It begins with leaves turning brown and falling off parts of the plant in a short amount of time. Lesions along the twigs and white, sticky spores are the tell-tale signs of the disease. The lesions will girdle the plant and choke the life out of each branch. The disease has been in the United States since 2011 and has recently been discovered in the Upstate. Even plant nurseries are vulnerable to getting the disease, and plants must be monitored before use is allowed in the landscape.

How Do You Control It?

“Kidnapping” the plant is the only way to get control of this disease. What we mean is the use of a bag placed over the infected plant and quickly removed from the site. Remaining leaves around the ground must then be removed by vacuuming and removed from the site as well. Last is the burning of the residual parts of the Boxwood to kill any leftover infected parts. All this is known as sanitization of the site. If for some reason you must replace the infected shrub with another Boxwood, the new plant should be monitored for 30 days before planting to ensure it’s not infected.

Have a Preventative Treatment Plan

If you love your Boxwoods and want to keep them safe from this blight disease, we have preventative treatment plans and specific monitoring techniques that we can put into place. Remember, keeping your trees and shrubs as healthy as possible is the first step in preventing attacks from insects or diseases! If you have Boxwoods on your property that you don’t want to lose, schedule an appointment with your neighborhood arborist today to see what kind of shrub or tree care program is right for you.

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