You may have heard that Boxwood Blight has recently been detected in North America. To bring the nursery industry up to date, Craig J. Regelbrugge, ANLA, held a conference call last week with the State Associations to discuss the issue. CANGC staff participated on the call and will continue to monitor this issue and provide updates as they become available. The call was started with some background information; Boxwood Blight is a pathogen first described in U.K. in mid 1990’s, but now can be found throughout most of Europe as well as New Zealand as of 2002.
In recent months Boxwood Blight has been detected in North America in the states of CT, MA, RI, NY, PA, MD, VA, NC, and OR, and in a province of BC. In some cases detections have been in nurseries only, in others, in landscape settings. Generally, affected states have moved quickly to implement response measures in affected nurseries. At the time of the call it had not been detected in California. On a slightly positive note, the blight is NOT a threat to natural/environmental plant resources, or important non-nursery agricultural crops. It is a nursery and landscape issue. That said, boxwoods are a major nursery crop and an iconic landscape plant. Of note too is that one of the pathways for the long distance spread of the pathogen is infected plant material.