AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), in conjunction with the National Plant Board (NPB), are pleased to announce that Boxwood Blight Best Management Practices, version 2.0 is now available.
The original version was published in 2012 on the heels of the discovery of boxwood blight in North Carolina the year prior. HRI quickly established a fund dedicated to boxwood blight research, and a boxwood blight working group composed of industry leaders and state regulatory representatives convened to develop prevention strategies. The original Boxwood Blight Best Management Practices document was produced out of this collaboration.
Since then, a slew of new research has been underway. Resources to support these research efforts have come from several sources, including direct industry funding through HRI’s grants program, the IR-4 Ornamental Horticulture Program administered by USDA-NIFA, the USDA-ARS Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, and from Farm Bill, Section 10007 funds administered by USDA-APHIS. Section 10007 alone has allocated nearly $3 million towards boxwood blight solutions.
Early research focused on the basics of boxwood blight management, such as fungicide efficacy studies and cultivar resistance evaluations. Recent focus areas have included (but are not limited to) long distance spread of the disease, pathogen survival in soil, insect transmission, biological control agents, risk mapping and disease forecasting, temperature impacts on disease development and pathogen survival, impacts of mulch in landscapes on disease development, and the use of heat therapy in boxwood propagation.
Photo: Boxwood blight in the landscape, courtesy Margery Daughtry, Cornell University