First, to address the confusion: Although by press time in early January boxwood blight had not yet been confirmed in Indiana, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources did confirm that a Boy Scout troop in Evansville had sold boxwood holiday wreaths infected with boxwood blight. No one’s blaming the Boy Scouts; the material was sourced in North Carolina, and it’s reported that eight other states had received infected boxwood material from the same source. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which had been notified of the shipment by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, is on the case, and in December issued a request that all infected wreaths be returned so that they could be disposed of properly. In addition, those who surrendered their wreaths were asked to submit their addresses so that the DNR could follow up this summer to monitor for symptoms of blight.
In Tennessee, however, the state’s Department of Ag has confirmed that a new boxwood blight quarantine will go into effect on February 4. Any regulated material entering the state must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate; material includes all currently known to transmit boxwood blight, including Buxus species, Sarcococca species and any and all material that may contain this plant material — including compost, mulch, soil and waste.