Boxwood Blight a Threat to Your Landscape
Boxwood blight, a devasting disease of boxwoods, has been reported in Michigan for the first time. It can also infect Pachysandra the common ground cover plant. It has two types of spores, a long lasting one (up to five years or more) that infects the soil and one that is sticky and can move on tools, hoses, gloves, shoes and clothing. Click here for a PDF with more information.
This time of year, the most common method of spread is on infected boxwood used in wreaths and other holiday decorations. The best way to protect your yard is not use boxwood in holiday decorations, especially if produced outside of Michigan. If you do decide to use boxwood decorations, inspect the plant material carefully before buying. If you see leaf browning or other disease symptoms, don’t buy the decorations; however diseased boxwood may not show symptoms, so you can’t tell if it’s infected or not. If you do buy boxwood containing decorations, keep them as far away as possible from any boxwoods in your yard, be careful handling them so your clothing, shears, etc. don’t become infected with spores and dispose of the material before it starts to dry and/or leaves start to fall off. Dispose of the decorations by burning them or place them in a double plastic bag and place the bag in your trash for disposal in a landfill.