Three years after citrus greening was first detected in California, it’s been discovered again in a residential tree.
Huanglongbing was detected in plant material taken from a kumquat tree in a neighborhood in the San Gabriel area of Los Angeles County. The California Department of Food and Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the find.
The state’s first detection, in 2012, was in a residential citrus tree in Hacienda Heights about 15 miles from San Gabriel.
A CDFA crew removed the infected San Gabriel tree and is preparing treatment of citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllid infestation within 800 meters.
“CDFA is moving quickly to protect the state’s citrus,” CDFA secretary Karen Ross said in a news release. “We have been planning and preparing for HLB detections with our growers and our colleagues at the federal and local levels since before the Asian citrus psyllid was first detected here in 2008.”
A survey of local citrus trees and psyllids is underway to determine if HLB exists anywhere else in the area. Planning has begun for a quarantine to limit the spread of the disease by restricting the movement of citrus trees, citrus plant parts, green waste and all citrus fruit except what is commercially cleaned and packed. As part of the quarantine, citrus and closely related plants at nurseries in the area will be placed on hold.
HLB is in Mexico and in parts of the southern U.S.
Florida first detected the pest in 1998 and the disease in 2005, and the two have now been detected in all 30 citrus-producing counties there. The University of Florida estimates that the disease causes an average loss of 7,513 jobs per year, and has cost growers $2.9 billion in lost revenue.
HLB has also been detected in Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
California now has quarantines in place in 17 counties. The state maintains a toll-free pest hotline at 1-800-491-1899; information is available online at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/acp/.