PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A plant protection clinic says the big concern this winter is boxwood blight.

The University of Rhode Island’s clinic says now is a good time to check plants because infections or other issues may become apparent when leaves drop.

Heather Faubert (FOE’-bert), who manages the clinic, says the fungal disease boxwood blight is the big concern because it was discovered in Connecticut and North Carolina and has now found its way to Rhode Island.

She says the disease, which is native to Europe, makes leaves fall off and black lines appear on their stems.

She says it’s important to identify boxwood blight so it doesn’t spread. She says plant diagnostic clinics at land-grant institutions typically accept samples.

Faubert says affected plants should be removed. Some fungicides can help prevent it.

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