In the fall of 2011, the fungal pathogen Boxwood Blight (Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum) was identified for the first time in North America, with isolated discoveries in ten states (CT, MA, MD, NC, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, VA) and two Canadian provinces (BC, ON). Despite its initial discovery in Europe in the early 1990s and the significant impact it has had on their boxwood industry, there are limited data on the efficacy of fungicides to treat the disease, no rapid diagnostic tools are available, and no resistant cultivars have been developed.
As part of their response to Boxwood Blight, the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) are collaborating with a group of experts from state departments of agriculture, land-grant universities, and the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (ARS-USDA) to tackle the most pressing questions and issues the industry faces in battling this disease.
In late March, 2012 ANLA and HRI hosted a webinar in which US researchers involved in the study of Boxwood Blight shared what they know about the disease and the research priorities they have identified, in collaboration with industry. These research priorities include field deployable rapid diagnostic and disease management tools, as well as the development of Boxwood Blight resistant cultivars. While some of this work has begun much of it requires additional funding and support.
Please consider a donation towards the $50,000 goal for the Boxwood Blight Fund through HRI. This seed money is pivotal towards leveraging additional dollars from state and federal granting institutions and would show the commitment from industry in taking on this new plant pathogen challenge. To donate please visit www.boxwoodblight.org
and click Donate Now.