How to Protect Your Trees from Disease

County gives tips for growers to avoid "citrus greening"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Photo courtesy Flickr user Paul Lowry/Flickr CC

    County agriculture officials have a few tips for growers in the area to avoid attracting the infamous Asian Citrus Psyllid -- a little bug that can carry a disease known as "citrus greening."

    In Los Angeles, spraying is already underway to stop the spread of the disease, which affected nearly 100 miles of citrus trees.

    The disease has not yet reached San Diego County, but experts are on high alert for the disease and are warning growers of the risks it poses to the local economy.

    If the disease were to hit San Diego trees, it could severely harm the local economy. As of 2010, the citrus crops in San Diego were worth $78.4 million, according to our media partner, the North County Times.

    Here are some tips to help ward off the disease in San Diego:

    • Don't take or remove cuttings from backyard citrus plants from one property to another.
    • Only buy citrus trees only from reputable local nurseries.
    • Cooperate with County (or state) inspectors if they ask to place insect traps on your land. The traps are to find and test Asian citrus psyllid.
    • Citrus plants affected by citrus greening can have blotchy mottled leaves, yellowed leaves on a single shoot or branch, and/or small, narrow leaves and short stems. Fruit from trees with the disease are often small, misshapen and taste bitter, medicinal or sour.
    • Report citrus trees and plants that seem to be sick or dying even though they also appear to be well-watered and well-maintained by calling the California Department of Food and Agriculture hotline at: 1-800-491-1899.
       
       

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