The second ever detection of Huanglongbing (HLB) disease in California has appeared in Los Angeles County, prompting an extensive survey of citrus trees and a quarantine zone that will limit the movement of plant materials.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the detection of the disease, also known as citrus greening, in a San Gabriel kumquat tree.
The last time the disease was found in California was in a residential citrus tree in Hacienda Heights, about 15 miles from San Gabriel, in 2012.
The departments have urged residents to respect the rules of the quarantine area, in order to prevent the spread of a disease that has cost Florida citrus growers US$$2.994 billion in lost revenue since its appearance in 2006.
“Citrus is a cherished part of our landscape and our shared history, as well as a major agricultural crop,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a release.
“CDFA is moving quickly to protect the state’s citrus. 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 CDFA crew has removed and disposed of the infected tree and is preparing to conduct treatment of citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllid – a vector for the disease – within 800 meters of the find site.