Protect our Citrus!
Citrus Disease Huanglongbing (HLB) – Citrus Psyllid
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a deadly citrus disease that attacks the vascular system of plant. It is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), which feeds on the plants. Once the tree is infected, there is no cure. It usually declines and dies within a few years. The danger of this disease cannot be overstated. Although it is not a health risk for humans or animals, it does have the potential to completely wipe out citrus production in the State of California.
The disease has been found in Orange County and is spreading. In response, the California Agricultural department is implementing strict guidelines and policies to hopefully stop the disease from reaching commercial citrus groves. Orange County (along with Los Angeles, Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties) is under quarantine for HLB. It is illegal to move citrus of any kind over the quarantine line.
Other steps recommended by the Agriculture Department to avoid spreading the diease:
- Dry out green waste from your citrus trees for 3-5 days before moving to a green waste can
- If taking fruit out of your backyard, wipe with a clean cloth (knocks off any potential pests that might be carrying the diease)
It is also recommended to keep a close eye on your citrus trees and check for these symptoms:
- Shoots growing out of the tree that are yellow instead of green
- Blotchy yellow coloring on leaves
- Fruit that is dropping before it can ripen in unusually high amounts
- Bare looking canopies where the leaves are dropping in unusually high amounts
- “Ripe” fruit that is still green and bitter to taste
- You can see all potential HLB symptoms on our power point here!
For more information on the Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing, you can visit the website www.californiacitrusthreat.org. If you think you have a HLB-diseased tree, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture hotline at 1-800-491-1899. You can also use the website’s zip code look-up service to find your local Agricultural Commissioner’s office to ask to have the leaves inspected for the disease.
If it is determined that your tree has the psyllid, steps will be taken to eradicate the pest using chemical and/or biological control agents. If your citrus tree has the disease, it will be removed in order to prevent the spread of the diseased to the other citrus trees on your property and within the state.
The Harvest Club can Help!
In response to the threat of HLB and the Asian Citrus Psyllid, the Harvest Club has required training for all of our Harvest Captains in identifying symptoms. We also offer a Tree Maintenance Program, which checks trees for any potential health programs including Asian Citrus Psyllid and HLB. If you have concerns about your citrus tree, please feel free to reach out to us!