Boxwood Blight

According to WI DATCP, Boxwood Blight was intercepted before entering the state a few times this season, and that product was arriving from out-of-state producers. There have been no new detections of Boxwood Blight at Wisconsin nursery growing locations. Continued vigilance is needed as healthy-looking stock may develop blight symptoms. Also, they have yet to diagnose Boxwood Blight in a landscape. If that happens, information would come from the lab at the University of Wisconsin.

As part of a “Keeping Clean” protocol, Johnson’s Nursery utilizes a Boxwood holding area where stock is quarantined for 30 days. This area has a separate irrigation system. Johnson’s Nursery does not purchase boxwood from out-of-state producers unless they have boxwood blight compliance certifications. Our great relationship with the state’s DATCP nursery inspectors allows us to remain up to date on protocols.


“I was really impressed with the new area you guys created to keep boxwood and pachysandra separated from other stock until the 30-day observation period passes. It was well thought out as it keeps any water runoff going into a different watershed and out of the main irrigation pond.”

– Wisconsin DATCP Inspectors


As of Friday, November 30, 2018, Johnson’s Nursery has signed the Boxwood Cleanliness Compliance Agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

In July 2018, Wisconsin DATCP made its first detection of boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) in Wisconsin. DATCP nursery inspectors continue working to make sure that the pathogen is contained and eradicated. Johnson’s Nursery production properties and holding yards passed inspection; Boxwood Blight was not detected at any location to date. Johnson’s Nursery has created systems to ensure plant stock, growing, propagation, and holding properties remain clean, ultimately supplying a clean, quality product to customers and end-users. Johnson’s Nursery will be propagating Boxwood (Buxus spp.) in-house in the future, but until then:

  • liners will only be sourced from nurseries with Boxwood Cleanliness Programs,
  • finished container material will only be sourced from nurseries with Boxwood Cleanliness Programs,
  • and B&B plant stock will come only from Johnson’s Nursery Field Production properties.

Effective immediately as part of a ‘Keeping Clean’ protocol:

  • Returns of plant material (especially Buxus spp.) through our Wholesale & Contractor Sales Department are no longer permitted.
  • Customers arriving for pick-up may not possess Boxwood on trucks or trailers.
  • Customers touring our field and yard production, and holding yards, will be escorted by Johnson’s Nursery personnel.

We appreciate the time, attention, and cooperation from all our clients and partners. Johnson’s Nursery trusts the Wisconsin DATCP as an adviser. Keeping Clean and Boxwood Cleanliness Programs are developing as this disease proves to be an issue for Wisconsin’s green industry and landscapes. Be on the lookout for warning signs. Symptoms and pictures are available in the following resources:

Vanessa Mueller
Horticulturist, Wholesale Salesperson
Johnson’s Nursery