Want to help fight citrus greening disease? Take the leaves off that orange before sharing it
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Posted by: Dana Walker
Southern Californians are being urged this summer to help fight a disease that threatens to
wipe out the state’s iconic citrus by sharing fruit with friends, family and coworkers only after thoroughly washing it and removing the leaves.
Agricultural officials also ask those who live within a citrus greening disease quarantine zone in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino counties not to take fruit outside those areas.
The warning from the state Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program comes as the summer travel season heats up and the number of fruit trees infected with Huanglongbing — or citrus greening disease — multiplies across Southern California.
So far, the disease has afflicted residential neighborhoods only and three counties: Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside.
But, as of June 2, the total number of diseased trees statewide had reached 602, up from 370 at the end of last year and 23 at the end of 2016, said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, a UC Riverside extension entomologist who conducts research in the Central Valley.