In order to stop the spread of citrus greening and preserve our South Texas citrus, our local citrus industry have put together a four-step action plan.
1. Don’t Move Citrus Plants
Be Aware of Quarantines. Don’t move citrus plants or plant materials (leaves or stems) out of quarantined areas, across state lines, or across the U.S./Mexico border. You not only risk spreading citrus diseases, but it’s also against the law. Review the quarantine map.
Be smart when purchasing citrus. Gift citrus fruit sold in Texas must be packed in a certified packinghouse and accompanied by a USDA certificate. Commercial fruit packers, internet shippers and roadside vendors within Texas should be able to prove they are in compliance with the federal quarantine. Before you buy, ask the vendor if their product is in compliance. Be aware that if you knowingly purchase citrus in violation of quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties you could incur range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation.
Citrus growers, be sure to obtain a federal certificate if you transport your citrus in or out of Texas. For more information, contact your USDA State Plant Health Director’s office.
2. Look and Learn
Know what to look for. It can take years for symptoms of citrus greening to appear. Inspection for the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that carries the disease, is our best line of defense. Inspection should be done during periods of active plant growth or “flushing”. Psyllids are most often found on new shoots. CLICK HERE for a list of treatment options.
Citrus trees normally grow well and vigorously, with a healthy complement of dark green foliage. Almost any deviation (yellowing of the leaves) from the normal should be checked closely. Inspect citrus trees regularly. View photos of psyllids and citrus greening to help you identify a tree infected by citrus greening.
Signs and Symptoms to look for
3. Report Infected Plants
To stop the spread of citrus greening disease, we depend on you to report signs and symptoms. If you think you have identified an infected plant, report it immediately. You have three options to report your tree:
- Bring a sample to a designated drop off location for testing. Click here to learn more.
- Fill out a Report It form online to report your tree to us and we will follow up with you.
- 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.
4. Learn How to Treat Asian Citrus Psyllids
Treat citrus trees for Asian citrus psyllids, the insect that spreads citrus greening disease, by using recommended treatments. Click HERE for a list of Materials for Controlling Asian Citrus Psyllid, prepared by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
WE NEED EVERY CITRUS TREE OWNER TO TAKE ACTION TO HELP SAVE VALLEY CITRUS!