Issue 1, April 29, 2019

Brown Boxwoods

Each spring we receive questions regarding browning boxwoods. Boxwoods are broadleaved evergreens that are prone to winter injury. This year’s prolonged winter was especially harsh on many boxwood cultivars, particularly those in the Northern portion of the state. I’ve both observed and received reports of entire plantings with leaves that turned tan or brown. Extreme cold temperatures and winter desiccation likely contributed to this injury. At this point, nothing can be done to save the injured leaves. However, given time and patience, new leaves will emerge, and the shrubs will likely recover. You can also check the extent of the injury lightly scratching a stem. If you see green tissues, that is a good sign that the branch survived. If you see brown tissues, the branch is likely dead. Once you are confident of the extent of the injury, you can carefully prune out the affected shoots.

Travis Cleveland

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