In a recent issue of Dave's Southern Garden Newsletter , Dave discussed a new disease called Boxwood Blight. It is caused by the fungal pathogen Cylindroncladium buxicola. It was first discovered in the U.S. in a couple of nurseries in North Carolina in October of 2011. The disease actually was first reported in the United Kingdom in the mid 1990's. First, I have not seen it in the Birmingham, AL area. Dr Jim Jacobi, Plant Pathologist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System located at the Hanna Center in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens says he has not seen it either.
Boxwood Blight can cause severe defoliation and dieback of Boxwoods if it's left unchecked. The disease has caused significant damage to Boxwoods in European landscapes. I think the concern is that if it gets established here in the U.S., it could potentially damage historic Boxwood gardens and home landscapes in the U.S. We are still investigating possible control strategies. We do know that the disease can harbor in infested leaf litter under the plant. Continuing our regular cultural practices that are suggested on the Boxwood Doctor website is the best idea for now. This is not to cause alarm for all of you who have Boxwoods in your landscape, just be aware. If you see symptoms like the one in the photo, take a sample to the lab and have it checked out. I will keep you informed.
If you need additional information, please contact Dave