Save My Blonde Boxwood

Asked April 16, 2019, 11:05 AM EDT

My local nursery suggested I send my information to your site. They suspect boxwood blight, but I want to be sure before I remove my precious plant. I purchased/planted this boxwood as a pair of tiny, 6-inch saplings in June 2012. Approximately one month ago, portions of the plant began browning. There are no bugs or spots on the leaves. On inspection of the interior, some of the bark is peeling away on a couple of the larger stems. Please help me save my blonde boxwood, if it is possible. Any guidance on what is attacking my plant and solutions for correcting the problem would be helpful. I have additional photos to share, if needed. Thank you!

Prince George's County Maryland shrubs vole damage

1 Response

From your photos, this does not look like boxwood blight. Our thought is that this is the nasty work of voles. Voles or meadow mice are active all year round and are notorious for tunneling through mulch (especially in the winter), going underneath shrubs and gnawing on the bark. They are very fond of boxwood. In the third photo, we noticed some missing bark. This type of feeding girdles the stem which eventually dies. So you need to look underneath the shrub to see what is going on. You will need to prune out any damaged stems. The time to do this is now before the new growth begins.
Please see the following information from our website, including vole management,
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/voles

Deb