Agriculture and Natural Resources

Protecting the Quality of Land and Water Resources

Agriculture and natural resources (ANR) programs help sustain the profitability of agricultural and forestry production and enhance and protect the quality of our land and water resources. ANR programs are directed toward a broad range of needs associated with the production of animals, food crops, greenhouse and nursery products, turf, and forests; the financial management of agricultural enterprises; and the protection of the environment. ANR programs include:

  1. Boxwood Blight
  2. Home Gardening
  3. Lawn Care and Soil Testing
  4. Sustainability at the Home

Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight is a plant disease caused by a fungus. Discovered in North America in September 2011, Boxwood Blight was detected in Chesterfield County landscape in 2013. Chesterfield partners with other plant pathologists in Virginia to detect and manage this disease and is a member of the Virginia Boxwood Blight Taskforce.

Treating Boxwood Blight

There are three major symptoms of the disease:

  • Elongated, dark streaks on twigs and stems
  • Large, diffuse leaf spots
  • Leaf defoliation

The primary means by which the disease spreads is the inadvertent introduction of infected boxwood to existing plantings. The pathogen can also spread by spores, which readily adhere to equipment and work clothes, and by microsclerotia, which survive in fallen leaves and plant debris.

If you suspect your boxwoods have boxwood blight, carefully bring a sample to the Cooperative Extension office for analysis. To take a sample, wear disposable gloves to snip a small piece of the plant that is showing symptoms mentioned above. Place the sample in a plastic bag, then place that bag in another bag. Please double bag the sample - this is a very contagious disease and appropriate sanitary procedures are necessary to prevent spreading the disease in your landscape.