Customers should beware of "free from" claims
It has been brought to the attention of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association that some growers of boxwood are claiming to be “free” from C. buxicola or boxwood blight based on negative test results that have been supplied to growers by their CFIA inspectors.
Growers that have been inspected by CFIA as part of their detection survey and have had all negative results are able to receive documentation to that effect from their CFIA inspector. However, it is important to note that THIS DOCUMENTATION FROM CFIA IS NOT VERIFICATION THAT THE GROWER IS “FREE FROM” BOXWOOD BLIGHT, but rather that the samples taken were negative. There is no program or process in place to guarantee 100% freedom from boxwood blight.
The wording that is recommended by CNLA is “apparently free from boxwood blight.”
While there is no 100% assurance test that determines whether a grower has the blight, chances are miniscule that your plants will contract the blight if you buy from reputable growers who have been tested and continue to test their crops for the disease. Boxwood is still an important plant in the landscape and by asking your suppliers for their written assurances, you should feel safe in knowing that the chance of boxwood blight showing up in your garden centre is slight."
For further information or to refer to the CNLA’s best management practices for retailers and landscapers, click here.
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