Boxwood with lots of large ugly round growth

Asked October 29, 2019, 6:12 PM EDT

What is killing my 18 year old boxwoods? Not Otis wasn't running the bushes very large ugly Brown clusters. Leaves are grey and falling off.

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a euonymus not a boxwood shrub.
The growths on the stems look like crown gall. Removal of infected plants will lower bacterial populations in the soil, however low populations of soil bacteria still persist as surface colonies on many plant species regardless of their susceptibility to crown gall. All you can do is prune but this will not cure the plants and there are no chemical controls.

We also notice a sucking insect on the leaves called euonymus scale. This is an armored scale and is difficult to control.

At this point, you can prune the plants to the base and discard in the trash. Since you are dealing with two issues, it may be easiest to remove the plants in the spring and replace with plants that have some resistance to crown gall such as hollies or yews based on your site conditions.