California Citrus Industry Shaken by Discovery of ‘Serious Citrus Scourge’

Disease-free citrus
Disease-free citrus Photo: MITCHELL via Flickr

California’s citrus industry is in a panic over the spread of huanglongbing, considered “one of the most serious scourges of citrus,” and also known as citrus greening. The malady, spread by Asian citrus psyllids and already responsible for a $3.6 billion citrus industry loss in Florida, was discovered on a lone lemon-grapefruit hybrid tree in a Hacienda Heights yard, the first time the arboreal illness was unearthed in California. While The New York Times reports that the biggest immediate danger is for the trees of homeowners, the president of California Citrus Mutual calls the find “a gut-shot,” and explains, “We’ve been looking for this, and unfortunately we’ve found it.” The state is now trying to take a proactive approach to getting the word out. So if you happen to have a tree exhibiting yellow leaves and tasteless fruit, not to worry: there’s an app for that! [NYT]

California Citrus Industry Shaken by Discovery of ‘Serious Citrus