New findings of the boxwood pathogen Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum
, or Boxwood Blight, have occurred in North America. The disease was originally discovered on boxwood in the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s causing significant defoliation and twig dieback. The latest findings have involved a single nursery in Ohio and two nurseries in Ontario, Canada. These confirmations follow previous findings from CT, MA, MD, NC, NY, OR, PA, RI, VA and British Columbia.
On March 23rd, ANLA and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) hosted a webinar to provide industry and the public the opportunity to ask questions and hear directly from the research community regarding what they know about Boxwood Blight and what work they plan to do to help mitigate it. Topics covered included pathogen biology, diagnostics, and management and boxwood breeding. A recording of this webinar can be found at www.boxwoodblight.org
The Boxwood Blight Working Group (BBWG), a team of nursery industry leaders coordinated by ANLA, has finalized Version 1.0 of their voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs). These recommendations are intended to help growers prevent the introduction of the disease into the nursery. In addition, they include steps that can be taken to eradicate the pathogen if it is discovered on the property. Because every grower’s operation is different, the BMPs are designed to be flexible and scalable. The document includes a series of “check boxes” so the grower can indicate which practices are appropriate for their nursery. A downloadable version of the BMPs is also available on www.boxwoodblight.org
The National Plant Board is reviewing the BMPs and developing a separate compliance agreement template for use by state regulatory officials. The compliance agreement template is intended to be used voluntarily, by request, for growers who want the backing of their state agriculture department that they have implemented the BMP’s. ANLA has encouraged a uniform state approach, since a cohesive and consistent approach to managing boxwood blight is more likely to be effective in terms of disease control and a viable marketplace. Questions? Contact Joe Bischoff, firstname.lastname@example.org.