Friday, May 9, 2014

The Boxwood Damage

Today we are working on the damage to the boxwoods.  I believe we have boxwood blight.  This is based on my research.  I could be wrong, but it looks like boxwood blight to me.


This certainly looks like the pictures I have seen of boxwood blight.


The damage to this boxwood on a corner started last year.  You can tell that it has been here for awhile because there are no leaves left and these stems are a light gray color.  This will have to be removed.


More blight along the hedge.


And a large swath that started last year as is evidenced by the complete absence of any leaves.  The small area of green growth does not indicate that plant is healthy.  For reasons unknown, this small section has not succumbed to what is inevitable.


As we dig out these infected shrubs, we are placing them inside these brown kraft paper bags which are the only accepted means of disposing of yard waste in our town.



This side of the hedge along the front walkway is less infected with blight.  Still ,we are going to dig these up and replant them.


Boxwood roots are somewhat shallow, so digging them up as not as difficult as you might expect.


Another one out.


I am kind of liking the singular boxes trimmed in a square.  Check back to see what we end up doing with these hedges.




















Boxwood blight is a fungus that is infecting the shrubs and is easily spread from one to the other.  This started to show up only a few years ago but it can be devastating.  Some information for you on the subject:

The first description of boxwood blight was from the United Kingdom in the mid 1990s. In 2002 it was discovered in New Zealand. At that time the cause was identified as a new species of fungus and formally named Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. The fungus causing the disease in the U.K. was later named C. buxicola. These are now known to be the same.[1]
It is found throughout Europe.[2][3]

In October 2011 the blight was found in North Carolina and Connecticut. By January 2012 it had also been identified in Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York and British Columbia.[4]

Prevention and treatment

There are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of the blight:[12]
  • Inspect new plants and cuttings; only buy from reputable nurseries.
  • Isolate them for at least one month, longer if possible.
  • Avoid overhead watering.
  • Don't work with wet boxwood.
  • Never compost infected material.
  • If you see an infected plant:
    • Remove the whole plant and put it in a plastic bag. Do not carry it around uninfected plants.
    • Consult with a county agent or other expert to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Consider plants other than boxwood.
There is no known cure. Fungicides may prevent the spread of the disease. To be effective, they must be applied to the entire plant, leaves and stems. This can be difficult because boxwood leaves are very closely spaced.[13]
Since this is a new disease, research is ongoing. There are a few places to find out current information
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