Box Blight (shrub)

We had a large mature Box shrub which has been subject to blight, sadly, so we have cut it down. Advice online says the cuttings should be burned & NOT put into our brown bin for composting. But I believe we are not allowed to have garden fires in SE26? I sent that to Lewisham council who said:
“Whilst we do not encourage garden bonfires, I have spoken to the councils Green-scene department and their advice is to purchase a small bin type incinerator and burn the cuttings once they have dried out.” Gosh! I now have a permit for a garden fire!

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Are you sure it was Box Blight? Most of the box shrubs in the area have been obliterated by a caterpillar - according to Gardener’s World, currently an issue mainly in M25 - certain all round by me, box shrubs are now leafless. The wasps that control these in E Asia don’t live here and our birds think these caterpillars taste horrid. Unfortunately means that we can’t have big shrubs any longer - very sad.

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It’s Box Tree Caterpillar

“Box tree caterpillars feed within webbing and can completely defoliate box plants. It is a relatively new insect to Britain. Whilst the adult moth was first reported in Britain in 2007, caterpillars were not found in private gardens until 2011, it has since become widely distributed across England (particularly London and surrounding areas) …”.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/Profile?pid=760

I dug out our three Box bushes, and have replaced them with other shrubs. One of my neighbours has treated his hedge with pesticide, but I’m not sure if that will work long-term without regular spraying.

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Thank you for your replies & for the link to RHS site - very useful & confirmation it was Box Tree Caterpillar. Very sad, since the Box bush was around 35 years old, approx. spherical with around 5 feet diameter. I still don’t know if it is OK to put the cuttings in garden recycling?? Any ideas? I would obviously prefer to do that, rather than burn. I am left with a skeleton of branches too thick for my secateurs & I doubt I will be able to dig it out - Maybe I will just plant a climber to grow through it!

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Lewisham seem to suggest that almost all plant based stuff, with the exception of just Japanese Knotweed, can go in:

I’ve always assumed they either compost at a high temperature or somehow sterilise any compost that is produced as otherwise it would be at least full of weeds… Or they may be using it for some non-agricultural purpose - does anyone know?

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I placed it all in the green bin. Had thought it was blight until I did that and hundreds of caterpillars then crawled out overnight in a bid for freedom.

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Thanks for all hints - I will put the cuttings in the Garden recycling.

We thought we had box blight but it was the Asian moth/caterpillars. We picked hundreds of crysallises off the hedge, cut back the munched areas and sprayed with insecticide from Shannon’s every two weeks. Glad to say it has recovered. We check regularly for caterpillars and we picked off a load last week and sprayed again. Looking healthy now. Evidently we need a cold winter to kill off the bugs, something we haven’t had recently.

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There is this

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Thank you!

This works, though I have had to spray twice this year. They will reinfest. It is a bacteria that infects the caterpillars so not poisonous to other animals. I have about half left so get 4 applications out of the packet for 4 medium sized bushes.

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