Citrus Greening Q&A

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about citrus greening disease in Texas.

WHAT IS CITRUS GREENING?

Citrus greening, also known as HLB, is the most destructive disease of citrus. This disease poses no threat to humans or animals, but can destroy all types of citrus trees, including orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, kumquat, tangerine, and relatives like orange jasmine. This disease is a serious threat to our South Texas Citrus Industry. Once a tree is infected, there is NO CURE.

HOW DOES THE DISEASE SPREAD?

This disease is easily spread by moving infected plants (including infected trees from nurseries) and by a small insect called the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). Propagation or production of new trees using bud or budwood materials from infected trees is also a prime way to spread citrus greening.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT US ALL?

The Texas citrus industry is at great risk of losing its trees, which could negatively affect the RGV’s job force, economy and culture. Growers are diligently working to slow the spread of this disease, but they cannot do this without your help. If your citrus tree has this disease and is not removed, psyllids can continue to spread citrus greening to other citrus trees, including your neighbor’s trees as well as local citrus groves.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO LOOK FOR?

  • Visible Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP)
  • Asymmetrical blotchy mottling of leaves
  • Raised, thickened, or corky veins
  • Lopsided, bitter, hard fruit with small, dark aborted seeds

Click HERE to see photos of these symptoms.

HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY TREE HAS CITRUS GREENING DISEASE?

  1. Bring a sample to a designated drop off location for testing. Click here to learn more.
  2. Fill out a Report It Form online to report your tree to us and we will follow up with you.
  3. Call 956-580-1917 to provide your contact information and a citrus specialist will follow up with you.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a waiting list to have your tree tested, so if you would like to have your samples looked at quickly, we recommend bringing a sample to one of the drop off locations.

WHAT IF MY CITRUS TREE HAS CITRUS GREENING DISEASE?

The only way to verify that your tree is infected with citrus greening disease is to have it professionally tested. If your tree tests positive, you will be notified immediately. Once a tree has citrus greening, there is no cure. Over time, your tree will deteriorate and the disease will ultimately destroy the tree.

It is incredibly important to remove trees that have citrus greening disease. Every tree that has citrus greening has the potential to spread the disease to healthy trees, increasing the spread of the disease across the Rio Grande Valley. It is in your best interest and the interest of the RGV to remove these trees.

WHAT IF MY CITRUS TREE IS HEALTHY?

Because your tree does not have the disease NOW does not mean that your tree will not get the disease in the future. It is important that you take proper care of your tree to protect it by doing the following:

  1. Treat citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllids, the insect that spreads citrus greening disease, by using recommended treatments. Click HERE for a list of treatments.
  1. Inspect your citrus trees regularly for symptoms of citrus greening disease. Even though your tree is healthy now, it can become infected and begin showing symptoms in the future.
  2. Do not buy citrus trees from sources that are nor certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture because they might have citrus greening disease without showing symptoms.

HOW CAN I HELP?

To stop the spread of citrus greening, we depend on you to care for your tree and report signs of this citrus disease. Every citrus tree owner in the RGV must take action to help save Valley citrus!