(09/30/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — Boxwood dieback disease caused by a fungal plant pathogen is spreading at an alarming rate in the United States. LSU AgCenter plant doctor Raj Singh identified it in Louisiana and first reported in the United States in 2015.
Singh will be leading a disease identification and management training on Oct. 19 in Forest Hill geared toward accurate identification and effective management of the disease in both nurseries and landscapes.
Boxwood dieback is a fungal disease and causes random dieback of twigs. Initially leaves turn light green and become light tan colored as the disease progresses.
The training will take place at the Forest Hill Community Center located at 138 Blue Lake Road. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
“We are seeing more reports of boxwoods dying across the state and the country,” Singh said, adding that boxwood dieback disease isolates have also been confirmed from other states.
Symptoms produced by dieback greatly resemble Phytophthora root rot, another well-known disease affecting boxwood and other herbaceous and woody plants. Yet management for the diseases differ, Singh said.
“It is important for nursery growers and landscapers to be able to identify the disease correctly in order to manage it effectively,” he said.
Singh will discuss boxwood dieback and identification in the nursery industry and a question-and-answer session will follow the presentations.
Lunch will be provided and is co-sponsored by BWI Companies Inc. and the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association. The training is free to the public, but interested persons are asked to confirm attendance by contacting AgCenter extension agent Keith Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Oct. 8.
A boxwood exhibiting random dieback of twigs caused by boxwood dieback disease. Photo provided by Raj Singh
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture