What is Citrus Greening?

What is Citrus Greening?

What is Citrus Greening?

  • Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), is an incurable disease that is ravaging the nation’s citrus groves.
  • There are three forms of citrus greening disease: Asian, African, and American, however only the Asian form of the disease has been found in the United States.
  • The disease is transmitted by Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), a small insect that feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees.
  • The disease affects all parts of the tree canopy – leaves, twigs and fruit.
  • As the disease progresses, trees can yield inedible fruit and can eventually die.
  • The Asian citrus pysllid has been present in Florida since 1998 and by September 2000, the pest had spread to 31 of the 32 citrus-growing counties in Florida.
  • In September 2005, scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspec­tion Service (APHIS) confirmed the first U.S. detection of citrus greening on samples of pummelo leaves and fruit

Symptoms of Citrus Greening:

  • Citrus greening can initially be difficult to diagnose because it remains latent for some time before expressing itself.
  • Symptoms can be found year round, but are most easily seen from September through March.
  • The most characteristic foliage symptoms of citrus greening are the blotchy mottling of leaves and leaf yellowing that may appear on a single shoot or branch.
  • The disease may also cause small, narrow leaves and short stems that give plant growth a bunched appearance.
  • Other symptoms include twig dieback, poor flowering and stunted growth. Fruit from diseased trees is small and often misshapen.
  • Typically, some green color remains even on ripe fruit. Affected fruit tastes bitter, medicinal and sour.
  • Symptoms vary according to time of infection, stage of the disease, tree species, and tree maturity.

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