Boxwood Damage 2023: What to Do
Boxwoods are one of the staples of suburban landscapes for a good reason. They are hardy evergreens, carefree, and respond well to pruning and disease resistant.
Unfortunately most Boxwoods in the Midwest and South have suffered major damage in December 2022 from the near 65 degree temperature swing within 12 hours on 12/28/2022. The extremely cold which followed lasted several days. The epicenter of most plant damage appeared to be around Nashville, TN, but severe damage has been reported from Northern Florida to the Ohio Valley.
Most Boxwoods with minor damage should be pruned back as usual in the Spring, but remove the dead branches. Dead branches will not just disappear, they have to be pruned away.
Boxwoods with dead branches in excess of 20% should be pruned back hard at round 3” above ground in the Spring. These bushes have strong roots and should make a strong recovery next season.
Bushes with severe damage should be replaced as they would take several seasons to fully recover. Boxwoods are not expensive or laborious to replace and should be done to those with no eye appeal.
Boxwoods damaged by the temperature swing of 2022
Healthy looking Boxwoods waiting to be planted
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