Are spider mites killing my boxwoods

MMW0205(5)May 6, 2012

I am trying to figure out what is happening to my boxwoods surrounding my patio. There are two sections that have turned yellow, the leaves are falling off, and they look like they are dying. The guys at Lowes seen to think a dog has been going to the bathroom on them, but I don't think that is the reason.

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Where in the United States are you? Zone 5 tells me you may be too far north for Spider Mites to be that active yet. The are more active as the temperatures get, and stay, hotter. are you seeing any webbing inside those shrubs? Is there a possibility that snow melt was plunked on them?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 7:43AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


barbie.. fire pit??? .. drunken frat party???

how long have they been there .. planting issues???

one of the reasons i hate such a line of monoculture... is that you rarely have trouble on one end or the other..

and it always seems.. as soon as you are happy with size.. shape.. etc ... something right in the middle wrecks it ...

do you have a large dog??? usually.. you can smell the urea.. if there is enough to kill the plant ... take a whiff.. while looking for the webbing..

and get us a larger pic.. and a pic of the undersides of the leaves.. should you find anything ...

this might be one left for the ages ... all we can do is guess ...

and if they were green going into winter ... it is possible.. they were dead in fall ... but didnt brown until the desiccation of winter .... drought last summer????


    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:43AM
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I live in Columbus Ohio and we had a very mild winter this year, so I don't believe it is weather related. We do have a dog, but he prefers to kill our grass :)and is too lazy to walk that far from our back door. I went to a local garden center today and they told me to bring back a few samples for them to look at...plan on doing that tomorrow.

They were planted back in 2006 and we've never had any problems with them, they all looked good going into fall/winter.

My husband just came up with an idea this morning I wanted to run past the two of you...he power washed our patio a couple of weeks ago, using only water, but had the power washer sitting a few feet away from the boxwoods. Started in the corner, where the first dead spot is and then moved it down to the vicinity of where the second dead spot is. Could the fumes from the power washer done that damage?

I know we are going to need to cut away the dead spots, will the boxwoods grow back in that area if it was just the power washer that caused the damage? Is there anything I can do to help repair those two sections?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:17PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I think that boxwood smell like dog pee ALL the time! Or cat pee. I've often thought that the smell attracts dogs to them.

Boxwood are susceptible to some pretty serious diseases. The symptoms illustrated look like phytophthora, to me. Unfortunately, that kind of damage really can be caused by other environmental issues, too.

Your garden center people won't be able to tell what the problem is....phytophthora requires a look at the trunk at the soil level and maybe a lab test. If the power washer did it, they have no way of determining that, either. That's not a far fetched idea, by the way.

I think that it's a big stretch that it will be spider mites (which your garden center people will be able to help you with).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Sorry it's through Snapfish...I'm not getting the browse button to upload additional pics to this string.

We didn't see any webs

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:56PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

If it's box blight the damage would not be sudden - it would develop over a period of many weeks. How quickly did the damage appear? Was it tied in with the timing of the car washing? Would the car have been salty after the winter?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:16AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Flora, he wasn't washing the car, but using his power/pressure washer on their patio. The exhaust (or heat) from this piece of equipment is in question.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:59AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Heat from the exhaust of a gas power washer could certainly do that.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:01PM
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