Boxwood blight has been detected in a South Carolina plant nursery, according to inspectors with the Clemson University Department of Plant Industry (DPI.) It’s the first time the disease that can devastate the familiar shrub has been found inside a nursery in the state.
The finding follows the March discovery of the disease in a landscape near Florence. That case was suspected to have come from an out-of-state nursery and likely had been in the landscape for several years.
In this case, inspectors are conducting investigations of stock bought and sold by the Upstate nursery to try to determine the movement of the disease.
Department of Plant Industry assistant department head Steve Long told South Carolina Radio Network that they are cooperating with the Upstate nursery to eradicate the blight. “The infected nursery is working with us to destroy all affected plants and clean up the affected nursery environs,” said Long.
“The nursery also has agreed to follow a strategic document created by DPI that lays out a plan of eradication and clean-up. DPI will be monitoring their adherence to the process along the way and will be working with them to install other measures of protection in the future.” Long said.
Found throughout Europe, boxwood blight was first discovered in the United States five years ago. It has since spread to 11 states.
“The most likely means of contracting boxwood blight is primarily through the purchase of infected nursery stock material,” said Long.
Clemson Extension agents have been advised to be on the lookout for the new disease and to teach landowners and landscapers ways to reduce its spread.