The Defoliating Fungal Disease has Recently Been Found on Boxwood Trees in Massachusetts
The Plant Diagnostics Lab at the UMass Extension confirmed findings of Boxwood blight late last month. The Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources collected samples and conducted tests on Boxwoods received from a Connecticut nursery known for having Boxwoods with blight, and sure enough some of the diseased specimens made it to the Bay State.
Boxwood blight was first identified by pathologists in the UK in the 1990's, and it is unknown how the disease made it to the U.S. Cases of Boxwood blight have been found in Connecticut, North Carolina, Virginia, and now Massachusetts.
Like other blight infections, Boxwood blight will appear with discoloration and black lesions on the foliage. This will ultimately lead to severe defoliation, which may not kill the tree, but will certainly make it undesirable.
Blight can spread quickly in areas densely populated with trees and shrubs; and is most commonly spread by rain water. Although well-managed nurseries are on top of this matter, please be careful of purchasing Boxwoods in the future.
Remember, it is always a good idea to have a Certified Arborist or Plant Health expert out to inspect your property once a year.
Image from UMass Extension - shows indicators of blight infection.