REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (Mar. 26, 2012)—The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today
announced the discovery of boxwood blight at the Red Mill Farm of Losely Nursery in Lake
County in northeast Ohio. Boxwood blight is a disease caused by a fungus (Cylindrocladium
pseudonaviculatum) that threatens the health and sustainability of boxwood plants. This is the
first detection of boxwood blight in Ohio.
Boxwood blight was first detected in the United States in North Carolina in October 2011. Plant
pathologists in the United Kingdom first identified the disease in the mid‐1990’s. It is unclear
how the disease was introduced into the United States. To date, Ohio is the 10th state to
identify boxwood blight.
The suspect infection was reported to inspectors with the ODA and the Ohio Plant Diagnostic
Network (OPDN) who then sent samples to the United States Department of Agriculture –
Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) for confirmation. Officials at this time are
unsure how the disease was introduced into the Red Mill Farm. ODA inspectors have issued a
restriction on all boxwood plants located at the Red Mill Farm and will be conducting further
“Although it is unfortunate to have confirmation on the farm, all known infected plants have
been destroyed and we are working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to prevent any
further spread of boxwood blight” said Andrew Harding, Vice President and General Manager
of Herman Losely and Son, Inc.
This disease is spread primarily by water (rain splash, irrigation, runoff, etc.), by the movement
of plant material in the trade, and through contaminated tools, vehicles, boots, etc. Initial
symptoms of the disease on boxwood plants include leaf spots and blights, rapid defoliation,
distinctive black cankers on stems, and severe dieback. Most boxwood plants are not killed by
the disease, but will become so defoliated as to be aesthetically unacceptable.