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PRO

Situation With Box Blight ?

I have come across more cases of Box Blight this year including my own Box has anyone else noticed an increase . ? 

Have you managed to treat it successfully or replaced it with an alternative .

I am located in the North . West Yorkshire , cases within a Ten mile radius of one another .

 

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  • Yep everywhere in West Berkshire.

    I spray them with rose clear and actifirm.

    I replaced my own 13yr old box obelisk's Sunday with ilex crenata. Very sad.

    I was speaking with me local nursery Sunday, they get lorry loads in with blight/moth. They spary there's with rose clear.

    There's a section at whisley that has alternative's to box. Pittosporum/lonicera natidita/osmanthus/Berberis/ilex crenta/euonymus

  • Public Member

    I take a number of precautions

    I only cut when weather has been dry for some days, and forecast is dry for a week, and I don't cut later in the year. My Box irrigation is leaky-hose (i.e. no overhead irrigation)

    I try to only cut once a year (i.e. reduce number of cuts). I sterilise the shears as I go, and I blow every last leaf leaf / bit out after cutting, and again in the Autumn

    I cut with sheers rather than hedge cutter - fewer cuts, and perhaps easier to sterilise

    My plants are not mature enough to be really dense, but when they get to that point I will thin them - to allow more airflow. Mine are planted "in the open", but if planted next to adjacent plants (e.g. a border) I'd create a clear gap for airflow

    It may be marketing, but the Topbuxus nursery (in Holland) seems to only grow Box (on about 50 ha) and they say they did collaborative research with a University to figure out how to get some control. I use their Topbuxus "Grow Turbo" fertiliser Topbuxus say "Growing healthy reduces fungal infection"). and if I got an attack I would use their "Health-mix" (applied after Fungus detected), I also ;hold a stock of the biological control Bacillus for Box Caterpillar, so I can apply it the moment I see any damage.

    I have planted newer parterre-style hedging with Ilex crenata, but it seems much slower to grow than Box (despite what the nursery told me ...) My plan was to propagate from that in order to have replacement plants if the Box gets blight.

    https://topbuxus.com/gb/

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  • PRO

    The amount of blight & moths has been insane this year, to the point where I reccomend people grow Japanese Holly instead if they ask about Box. 

  • PRO

    Kris Baker 

    how and how frequently are you sterilising your cutters?

    • Public Member

      I have a bucket with Jeyes Fluid, or similar, and I dunk them about every half dozen bushes. Most of my Box are in a Knot Garden, and there are about half a dozen plants per "section", so that reminds me to dunk.

      Might be better solutions available?

      I have wondered about getting a 2nd set of shears, so that one-in-bucket and one-in-use, so that dunking-time is longer

      • PRO

        Thanks for the very helpful responses . 

        Just trying to monitor a situation , One solitary box sphere has perished and had to be burned , It seems to have spread to random plants in a recently planted  long box hedge . 

        I wouldn't have pruned it yet personally but someone has possible contamination , I reserve my pruning  for derby day , I am wondering if this day now needs revising in view of seasonal changes . 

        On going even with removal of affected plants its difficult to predict the outcome but already talk of replacing it all . 

        I will replace my own with pittosporum and its an opporunity to plant some nandina and break away from formality .

         

         

        • PRO

          To sterilise i use methylated spirit on blades . 

          worrying though have spotted some signs of contamination in a garden i go where the box is very well established and have looked after this for six years . 

           

        • PRO

          I'd agree with the breaking of formality,  that couldn't be applied to every situation of course, but it is an opportunity to try new schemes and combinations. Grasses such as pennisetum hamelin wil stand up in a partaterre format ,thus giving the design structure.  They also act as a very effective ground cover and look great all through the winter. Roses mix beautifully through them and bulbs cover the period when they are cut back and bare looking... I think an over all assessment of the space ,rather than just replacing like for like , could prove very interesting in those gardens where box needs replacing. 

          • PRO

            Grasses are a great addition giving formality a sense of movement but as you say they wont work in every case , Box is such a tradition when it works it works well . 

            Have used alot of grasses in place of the geranium border filler , also replaced geraniums with astrantia which offers great value giving two flushes of flowers when cut back . 

  • PRO

    We only have one garden with it. Professionally designed and planted by a company from way out of the area. The designer still comes 4 times a year to do stuff, and comment on our maintenance :(

    Last month we met with her she was replanting some box and spraying others.... incredibly she was not using gloves, no disinfectant and clipping new and deseased plants with the same shears and secutears. She seemed to have no comprehension of the way it spreads.

    We, especially with box, use jeyes fluid spray on all tools before and after in any garden, and even more so in this garden - and certainly would not be touching and hand brushing infected and non-infected plants without cleaning our hands or changing gloves.

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