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Commercial Horticulture > Comm Hort Blog > Posts > Boxwood Blight Infections in Alabama

We need help getting a message out to all Landscape Installers, Landscape Maintenance Professionals, and Homeowners. 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, animals, etc. We have had the perfect environmental conditions this spring for the development and spread of this disease.

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. We also understand that Landscape Installers are bringing in boxwoods from other states. Some of these Boxwoods are also infected with Boxwood Blight and pin-pointing the source of these plants has been difficult. We have several Boxwood producers in Alabama that DO NOT HAVE Boxwood Blight and are working very hard to keep their material free of the disease. We urge anyone that is planning on installing Boxwoods to purchase plants produced in Alabama. You have every right to ask where the plants you intend to purchase were produced, especially if it is not clearly labeled. PLEASE DO NOT BRING POTENTIALLY INFECTED BOXWOOD PLANTS INTO ALABAMA FROM OUTSIDE AREAS!!!

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. We also encourage Landscape Maintenance Professionals to 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 your local Extension Agent or Diagnostic Lab. Attached are articles with more information on Boxwood Blight. Please pass this message along to help us get the information out so we can control this problem.

 

Kassie Conner & Jim Jacobi

Ext. Plant Pathologist

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