English Boxwood Bush Turning Orange Brown And Covered In Spider Webs

Question From: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Q: We have some 75-100-year-old English boxwood that are looking pretty bad. Some of the leaves are turning orange on the edges and tips, and other whole sections of the bushes have turned a straw-colored brown. They are frequently covered in spider webs which someone told me indicated mites. The boxwood line the front walk on the south side of the house and get full sun as there are no trees. The soil is fairly poor, rather clay-like. We live in Richmond, Virginia. Can you advise us on what to do to rejuvenate them or who we could contact in our area who might be able to look at them and provide help? Thank you, Charlotte

A: Charlotte, Enlist the services of a company with a certified arborist on staff. I suggest you visit the Tree Care Industry Assoc. and use their zip code search. www.tcia.com. Your boxes may have several issues, so treating for spider mites alone may be of little help. Spraying the shrubs with a strong stream of water every three to five days will help to get rid of them and is a good place to start. Good Luck and Happy Yardening, Nancy