Many plant diseases cause damage to plants in the UK, many of which have accidentally been imported from other countries, due to the global movement of goods and people. As a plant disease company, we provide plant disease and removal services by applying chemicals to control certain pests. One of the most debilitating and rampant plant pests is Box Blight.
Blight infection on box hedge plants causes unsightly patches and defoliation in hedges and topiary. It’s caused by two different organisms which often grow together.
Volutella Buxi has been present for decades. Below are some facts on this plant pest:
- It can be identified by reduced stem elongation, yellowing and browning of twigs resulting in grey discoloration and loss of leaves
- Bark of twigs and branches dies off in patches and detaches from the wood which is partially stained bluish black
- On the lower surface of the dead leaves as well as on the bark necroses tiny pink pustules appear which can be identified with a hand lens
- Like many blights, it spreads in wet humid conditions with the spores entering the plant from wounds in the plant such as caused by clipping
In late 1994, a new blight disease of boxwood was discovered in a nursery in Hampshire. This was identified as Cylindrocladium buxicola which came from Central America where it is endemic:
- It can be recognised from the spots it causes on leaves which spread to form large areas of dead material which eventually cause defoliation
- Wispy grey fungus may appear on the underside of the leaves as well as a black staining on the bark
- The spores can enter the plant via leaf stomata and therefore do not require leaf wounds
Both box blight diseases can spread on dead plant material, so good hygiene is important when trying to manage. We strongly suggest raking up and burning dead material and sterilising garden equipment.
These fungi thrive and spread in warm and damp environments, so it’s important to consider positioning of the plants to avoid these conditions as much as possible. Good airflow and ventilation are important and help avoid infection and spread. Unfortunately close clipped hedges reduce ventilation so careful cutting and positioning of hedges should be considered.
There are professional fungicides available that can be used to control box blight although they are not available on the retail market. If you require help with control, please call us to discuss how we can help.
Plant Diseases: Treatment & Removal
Plant disease removal can be a complicated business, especially in treating various plant diseases including viruses, viroids, bacteria and fungi. Plants are often an expensive commodity and when they are attacked by diseases, the effect can be devastating.
As there are options that are not available to the amateur grower, we can help you explore. So Contact us to arrange an informal visit. Alternatively read our latest news, find out more about us or sign up for our email newsletter below.