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Boxwood blight is caused by the fungal pathogen Calonectria pseudonaviculata (syn. Cylindrocladium buxicola). Boxwood blight was first described in the United Kingdom in the mid-1990’s and by 2002 was found in several other European countries and New Zealand. In September 2011 boxwood blight was discovered in North America. Symptoms of the disease include leaf spotting (Fig. 1), elongate, dark cankers on stems (Fig. 2), defoliation, and dieback (Fig. 3). The primary means by which the disease spreads is the inadvertent introduction of infected boxwood to existing plantings. The pathogen can also spread by spores, which readily adhere to equipment and work clothes, and by microsclerotia, which survive in infested soil and plant debris. This document outlines best management practices for landscapers and property managers to reduce the risk of spreading boxwood blight to landscapes and public and historic gardens, and to manage the disease if it is introduced.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
September 26, 2016