“This has been ‘The Year of Boxwood Winter Injury.’ In my 30+ years with OSU Extension, I’ve never seen such widespread winter injury to boxwoods. It’s generally believed the damage is connected to the deep-diving temperatures experienced across most of Ohio during the week of Christmas.”
– Joe Boggs, OSU Extension
Boxwood shrubs can be susceptible to a number of problems, including:
- Frost/freeze injury: Boxwood shrubs can be damaged by frost or freezing temperatures. The leaves of the shrub may turn brown and die, and the shrub may not recover. Click here for more on Frost/freeze
- Boxwood Blight: This is a fungal disease that causes the leaves of the shrub to turn brown and die. It can be spread by spores in the air or water, and it is most common in wet weather. Click here for more on Boxwood Blight
- Volutella stem blight: This is another fungal disease that causes the stems of the shrub to turn black and die. It is also spread by spores in the air or water, and it is most common in wet weather. Click here for more on Volutella Stem Blight
- Box Tree (Boxwood) Moth: This is a small, brown moth that can damage boxwood trees. It lays eggs on leaves, which hatch into larvae that eat the leaves. The larvae can completely defoliate (skeletonize) a tree and damage the bark. Insecticides, biological control, and cultural control can be used to manage the moth. Click here for more on Box Tree Moth
If you are concerned that your boxwood shrubs may be suffering from a problem, it is important to consult with a professional arborist for diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect you are seeing Boxwood Blight, Nancy Taylor with the CWEPPDC urges the samples be submitted for diagnosis.