Staff — May 8, 2015
Several Boxwood Blight infections have been detected in newly installed landscape plants across Alabama. Once infected Boxwoods are planted in a landscape, the pathogen can easily spread to established Boxwoods by splashing water (irrigation or rain) or infested equipment, soil, shoes, clothing or animals.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI) is in the process of tracking down the source of these infected plants. Those that have derived from Retail Garden Centers, Nurseries, etc. in Alabama have a stop sale order placed on them, all boxwoods are inspected, and those found to be infected are destroyed. All infected plant material has, to date, been brought into Alabama from areas that are known to have problems with Boxwood Blight.
Some of these Boxwoods are also infected with Boxwood Blight and pin-pointing the source of these plants has been difficult. There are several Boxwood producers in Alabama that don’t have Boxwood Blight and are working hard to keep their material free of the disease.
The ADAI and Alabama Cooperative Extension System are working to survey areas where Boxwood Blight has been found in the landscape to prevent further spread of the pathogen. Landscape Maintenance Professionals should be observant of Boxwoods, become familiar with the symptoms of Boxwood Blight (leaf spots, black stem lesions, and defoliation), and report any suspected detections to local Extension Agent or Diagnostic Lab.