yellowing boxwood

(Question)

I moved in to a house in Barrie last summer. The two boxwood on the side of the walkway to the house are yellowing.I pruned them last year,did not seem to help much this year so far not much change. I have noticed lot’s of Rabbits in the morning,also in the summer a cat urine smell.
Seems rabbits made a hiding spot behind the plant’s. Could this be one or both my issue?

(Answer)

Dear gardener,

It sounds as if these evergreens were affected by the winter of 2014. This past winter started a bit earlier and your shrubs may have not had the chance to get enough moisture through the roots before the ground froze, thus the yellowing leaves.

As the spring progresses, check for new buds. Once they start developing, you can cut back any damaged or dead branches. When pruning boxwoods, make sure to avoid doing it on very hot days.Also, enriching the soil with compost will not only add nutrition but will improve the soil structure thus allowing better water absorption.

Water your boxwood well, particularly during drought periods.In the fall, make sure they get watered until the ground freezes in order to avoid the problem next year. Also, avoid any salt around their roots. If the side of the house is near a road, you may want to protect them from salt spray by placing burlap in front of them.

In regards to your question about rabbits, check if they have been nibbling at the trunk as this may cause further stress to the plant.

Lastly, the cat urine you smell in the summer is the natural ‘Boxwood’ fragrance.

Good luck and thank for contacting us with your question.