In this seminar, Dr. Matthew Cromey will trace the progress of box blight and its management in the UK since it was first found in the mid-1990s. Early advice to gardeners was to remove all Buxus from gardens where the disease had been recorded. Since then, considerable progress has been made in keeping gardens free from box blight, but also to avoid the eradication of the host from gardens where it does appear. While it is still a difficult disease, there are increasing options for its management. The situation in the UK will be compared with that in New Zealand, where box blight has also been present since the 1990s.
Speaker: Matt Cromey, Senior Plant Pathologist at Royal Horticultural Society (UK)
Matthew has been working as a Plant Pathologist with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) since 2015. At the RHS, he develops strategies to manage the diseases threatening ornamental and edible crops in UK gardens. He also interprets the results of RHS science research to provide advice for RHS members and the public. The future of disease management in gardens in the UK and around the world is in choosing the right plants for the right place and managing their environment to favor the plant more than the pathogen.
Research projects include the integrated management of box blight in gardens, management of Armillaria root rot in trees and shrubs and the relative susceptibility of different plants to Armillaria root rot and to Phytophthora root rot. He also contributes to the RHS diagnostic and advisory service, supporting the 500,000 + members of the RHS. Prior to joining the RHS, Matthew investigated the management of diseases of wheat and barley in New Zealand, his home country.