In 2011 when boxwood blight was first detected in the U.S., AmericanHort (then ANLA) led an industry effort to develop science-based management practices for disease prevention and containment, and to find funds for urgent research needs. State plant regulatory officials collaborated on the best practices, and developed a model compliance agreement. Major disruptions were averted.
Since then, things have been relatively quiet. Until now. This spring, boxwood blight-infected plants were shipped from an Oregon source to a major mass retailer and perhaps other outlets.
The incidents fueled frustration and much conversation at the recent annual meeting of the National Plant Board. Regulators and industry would be wise to consider the facts and proactive steps they can take.
These recent incidents are a fresh reminder that education and outreach on boxwood blight identification and best practices must remain an industry priority. Learn how to protect your business.