Important Alert Regarding Boxwood Blight

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Boxwood blight. Photo: Richard Buckley, Rutgers PDL

We want everyone to read this important information regarding Boxwood Blight.  According to the Extension Office at Cornell University, “Boxwood blight is a new fungal disease that can infect the many different kinds of boxwood available for sale and those already in the landscape.  The disease compromises the health of an infected shrub, destroying its ornamental value. It is also contagious, so boxwood near an infected specimen are at risk of catching the disease.”

John Edwards, our horticulturist at Larmore Landscapes Associates, has informed us that this is a very serious issue and we are taking steps immediately to begin educating our clients.  We have worked closely with Scott Welborn, an extension office agent, developing containment practices and on-going preventative programs to protect uninfected properties.

According to reports, Boxwood Blight will continue to spread as rapidly as it did the second and third week of August when the temperature and humidity went up and encouraged the fungus growth and its rapid spread. The best temperature for the fungus growth is 77-80 degrees and it begins to die at 91 degrees.

Samples from boxwoods with fungus that appear to be Calonectria pseudonaviculata have been collected in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Community. These samples have been sent to the NC State Extension office.

Close-up of Boxwood Blight.  Initial symptoms appear as dark or light brown circular leaf spots. Photo credit: Dan Gillman, UMass Extension Plant Pathologist

Close-up of Boxwood Blight. Initial symptoms appear as dark or light brown circular leaf spots. Photo credit: Dan Gillman, UMass Extension Plant Pathologist

We will continue to keep you up to date on the Boxwood Blight and we are asking all of our readers to watch your boxwoods. We are in the process of spraying a fungicide that has been shown to protect boxwoods for a limited time frame.  The spray we are using is the one recommended by Kelly Ivors, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Miran da Ganci, Graduate Student. Dept. of Plant Pathology, NC State University.

For more information on Boxwood Blight, click here

For another informative article on Boxwood Blight by Richard Buckley (September 2013), click here.