Boxwood Blight Confirmed in Michigan

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In December, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that boxwood blight was positively identified for the first time in Michigan.

The disease was found in three separate locations in Oakland County, at a landscape firm, a homeowner’s yard, and on holiday wreaths sold in a retail garden center. Oakland County is just outside of the Detroit metropolitan area. Retail garden centers in additional locations were alerted to the potential import of infected plant material. 

The source of the infected material was not stated; however, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection warned Michigan officials that infected boxwood material may have been sold in other retail locations. Holiday wreaths and greenery with boxwood should be double bagged in plastic and disposed of in a landfill – not composted. 

2018 has been an especially active year in terms of boxwood blight development, with diagnosticians reporting record numbers of positive findings, including the first confirmation of boxwood blight in Indiana in October. 

Box tree moth was also reported by a citizen science group in the Toronto, ON area this year. Though not yet confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, U.S. boxwood producers should remain on high alert for any unknown, suspicious insects on boxwood. 

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