At LaurelRock we are committed to excellence and leadership within our industry. As a part of that promise to our clients, it is important that we keep you well-informed of industry news that could affect your property, and our current notification is regarding the awareness of boxwood blight.
WHAT IS BOXWOOD BLIGHT?
Boxwood blight is a fungal disease specific to boxwood plants that typically spreads quickly during warm and wet weather conditions (64 to 77 degrees). The disease causes leaf drop and dieback, which eventually kills the plant. It was first detected in the United States in 2011. Although it has not been an issue in the Connecticut landscape for the last seven years, it is currently present throughout the state. This fungus appeared on several of our properties last fall and as a result, LaurelRock has done a great deal of research to better understand this disease. Now as we are on properties, our Property Managers are assessing all boxwood plants for any signs of the disease. Additionally, our crews have been trained on how to identify boxwood blight and are proactively watching out for it and reporting it.
CAN BOXWOOD BLIGHT BE PREVENTED OR CURED?
Currently, no fungicides on the market list boxwood blight as a target disease. To find a solution, we collaborated with our plant healthcare specialist and the State of Connecticut to select a combination of fungicides to apply that should help to suppress and possibly prevent the disease from spreading. If an infected boxwood is found on your property, you will be alerted immediately. We will recommend removing the plant to help stop the fungus from spreading. Then, we will propose a fungicide application schedule for all remaining boxwoods, if these applications have not already been added to your 2019 contract. While this is not yet proven to be 100 percent effective in eradicating the fungus, we believe it is the best available solution.
LAURELROCK’S PREVENTATIVE CARE APPROACH
To decrease the chances of spreading the fungus, LaurelRock Fine Gardening Crews are taking several precautions that include:
- sanitizing all tools with alcohol wipes between jobs;
- diligently spraying their pants, sleeves, and boots with an alcohol-based solution before getting back into the trucks;
- dipping their pruners in a bleach solution at the end of every day; and
- bleaching the dump bodies of the trucks whenever any boxwoods are transported.
For any questions regarding boxwood blight or if you suspect that your boxwood plants may be infected, please contact us right away. We are doing all that we can to limit the damage caused by the spread of this disease.