You may remember back in 2017 we reported on how the box tree moth and caterpillar was affecting Andy Attenburrow’s garden in the Ariège region of France which is a region in the Pyrenees on the border with Spain. Andy has just sent through some pictures of his box hedges that should lift your spirits as it shows how even when there is extreme pressure from the pest from surrounding gardens and natural boxwood stands, it is possible to keep it healthy.
I thought I’d write to you with an update on my fight to keep my box hedges going.
The moth/caterpillar invasion has started earlier this year. On 20 March, I spotted the tell-tale signs and so sprayed my hedges with 4 sachets of Xen Tari. Last year I started the spraying on 1st April followed by a further 4 sprayings over the month. But then thankfully the infestations died down. I had to apply Xen Tari once at the end of May and one further time on 22 July.
As you can see from the attached photos, my box hedges have a healthy covering of leaves. The growth has returned to what is was before the horrid moths arrived. I have to maintain my vigilant inspections but I’m delighted that even the worst affected plants have completely recovered.
Alas, this is not the story with most of the box hedges I see around in gardens in the Ariège . However, last year I did see new growth on the stems of box hedges that grow wild on the local mountainsides. The rest of the plants were all brown but it was heartening to see fresh green leaves growing up the central trunks.
So the battle goes on. I hope one day the moths will give up but I am nonetheless very pleased that there is Xen Tari available to enable me to keep my box hedges wonderfully verdant!
As you can see, Andy has used the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) base spray XenTari from TopBuxus to treat his box hedges to good effect. Our only observation would be that he could almost certainly have reduced the spraying to every other week during April and probably have achieved the same result, but it proves it is entirely possible to keep box healthy and looking great – keep up the great work Andy!
Note: Although Bt based sprays are the most effective form of treatment for the box tree caterpillar (and considered to be the safest for other garden users and beneficials) it is not registered for domestic use in the UK.