Please see attached photos. Not sure what is going on with these boxwoods, but I suspect overwatering. There is a sprinkling system in that area, and I believe the school had them on too much. The boxwoods are turning brown and do not look healthy at all. At first I suspected winter damage/burn, but last year these shrubs were gorgeous and the only thing that has changed is the water situation. I feared boxwood blight, but not really sure. I know it's hard when looking at pictures, but do you think these shrubs might come back? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Oakland County Michigan boxwoods decline
Water the boxwood just enough to keep the soil moist. Soak the soil each watering so you can go longer between waterings. Boxwood plants are shallow-rooted, so if the soil dries deeper than one inch, it may mean the shrub is not getting enough moisture.
Add a 1-inch layer of mulch over the root zone of the shrub to help retain soil moisture. Keep mulch at least six inches away from the base of the shrub.
Prune out any dead or diseased branches with shears, cutting back to just outside a set of leaves. Check the cut to see if the wood is healthy and green, dry or streaked with brown. If the wood is healthy, the shrub will recover. If not, cut back farther until you reach healthy wood or remove the entire branch. Boxwoods accept pruning readily.
Remove old leaves or debris that accumulate in the center of the shrub or around the base. This will help prevent the growth of disease-causing fungus or bacteria.
Thin the center of the shrub yearly to facilitate air movement and keep the shrub healthy. Choose several 4- to 6-inch long branches to remove from the center of the boxwood. Remove about 10 percent of the inner branches, or thin until you can easily see the interior branch structure.
Place a sun screen near the plant if the leaves are drying because the afternoon sun burns them.