Earlier this year, a client asked me to have a look at a boxwood planting at a residence in O’Fallon. He indicated that it was looking poor and dropping some leaves. I have seen boxwood with various problems in the past, so I was already guessing what it could be. I use over 300 boxwoods in my landscaping designs because of their dwarf growth and very hardy growing habits. More often than not, boxwoods that look poor or are yellowing and drop leaves is usually a sign of pet urine. However, upon my arrival, I noticed this was not caused by pet urine, but the dreaded Boxwood blight fungus.
Since then, I have found boxwood blight in other locations here locally. All have been traced to nursery stock that came from a source that was not in Illinois; this is good. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hopeful that these are isolated incidents that can be contained soon.