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Analyzing the structural shifts in boxwood production due to boxwood blight

Hall Charles R., Hong Chuanxue, Gouker Fred E., Doughtrey Margery
Journal of environmental horticulture 2021 v.39 no.3 pp. 91-99
Buxus sempervirens, Calonectria pseudonaviculata, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oregon, blight, boxwood blight, horticulture, industry, supply chain, surveys, Connecticut, District of Columbia, North Carolina
The purpose of this study is to examine the changes in the sales of boxwood that have occurred in boxwood production states. We theorize that some of the shifts in production areas over the period of 2009 to 2019 have been impacted by the introduction of boxwood blight into the U.S. Boxwood blight (Calonectria pseudonaviculata) was first observed in the U.S. in 2011 by plant pathologists in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Oregon, and is now in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. The data used for this analysis is from the Census of Horticultural Specialties (CHS), a survey administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) every five years. The findings from this analysis of the Census of Horticultural Specialties data from 2009-2019 indicate that there were already shifts occurring in boxwood markets prior to the introduction of boxwood blight. However, boxwood blight has exacerbated the supply chain challenges for green industry participants by limiting production in certain areas of the country, increasing the costs of producing boxwood compared to other evergreen shrubs, and perhaps dampening the demand from what might have been without the existence of the blight.