Thursday, June 19, 2014

Our Boxwood Blight Continues Unabated

We just cannot get ahead of the problem with the boxwood along the front sidewalk.  The problem started last year.  We started to notice sections of the boxwood which were dying.  At first, I thought maybe they were not getting enough air circulation because they were too tightly interwoven.  So, in September of last year, I trimmed those branches which were touching the ground.

I posted this picture last September.  You can see how we cleaned up the low-lying branches from the left side of the picture.  On the right you see the section that was still uncut.  We made our way along the row, opening up this area to allow the sun and water to penetrate the ground and hopefully invigorate the root system.

Here was a picture once we were done.  Unfortunately, this did not help.  We ended up removing a good many boxwood bushes this spring.  When Cindy was visiting a few weeks ago, she cut up all of the bushes and put them in yard waste bags for the town to pick up.  Thank you Cindy.

I noticed yesterday as I was making my way from the driveway that the blight is continuing.  I only removed the dead boxwood early this season.  I left the ones that still looked vibrant.  The one you see above was vibrant and now it too is succumbing to whatever is going on.

And here is some more failing boxwood.  I read somewhere that this boxwood blight is sticky and that is part of what makes it so insidious.

Older, established plantings are only at risk if new boxwood plants have been installed since 2010. The spores of this fungus are very sticky and are not easily spread by wind; long-distance transmission is mainly due to the unintentional movement of infected nursery stock and cuttings. However, those sticky spores are easily moved short distances on tools and equipment, hands and clothing, and by animals that have been in contact with infected plants.

Read more:

So, we are going to have to come up with a new landscape plan for the front yard.  All boxwood which have the slightest indication they may be infected must be removed.  That is likely going to mean all the boxwood along the front sidewalk will be removed.  Since the plan is to sell Crest Avenue next spring, we will have to draw a new plan and get it planted rather quickly.
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