Ag Department: Tennessee may have received infested boxwoods


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is warning residents that the state may have received boxwood plants infested with the box tree moth during the past year.

If left unchecked, the moth can defoliate and potentially kill boxwood plants. Signs of infestation include silky webbing and possibly caterpillars located deep inside the plants, the agency said in a news release.

The department said it was notified last week that boxwoods shipped to a Memphis distribution center from Ontario, Canada, between August and April may have been infested with the moths.

Traps were placed in West Tennessee and other high-risk areas after the moth was detected in Canada last year, Commissioner Charlie Hatcher said. No box tree moths have been detected since then. After the latest information was received, Hatcher said additional traps will be placed in the area.

Anyone who suspects their boxwood plant is infested can contact the Agriculture Department’s Plant Certification Section at (615) 837-5137.

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