Citrus Insider Reports New HLB Confirmed in San Gabriel
Today, two additional trees in have tested positive for Huanglongbing (HLB). The two trees, an orange and a kumquat, are on separate properties but are both within the core area in San Gabriel where 10 diseased trees were confirmed last summer. Given the close proximity, there will not be a quarantine expansion.
One of the HLB-positive trees has already been removed and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials are in the process of contacting the other homeowner to schedule tree removal. Agriculture officials are working quickly in the area.
Citrus trees in San Gabriel had already been treated for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) within the last few weeks as part of CDFA’s routine HLB response. ACP populations are closely monitored in areas where HLB has been detected and treatments occur if there is a noted increase in population size. Since trees have been recently protected, no additional treatments will take place at this time. Instead, CDFA will focus on sampling extensively in the area. Much of the area has already been sampled and CDFA’s lab has identified all samples from San Gabriel as high priority.
The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program is working with the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner’s office and CDFA to develop a multilingual informational flyer to notify residents of the significance of these finds and potential implications to other citrus trees in the area. CDFA staff will distribute this information as they go door-to-door sampling and surveying.
More information will be shared as it is available. In the meantime, the citrus industry is encouraged to keep a critical eye on all plant material moving into or out of your groves and recommends taking the following steps so collectively, as a team, we can all save our citrus trees.
-Remove all leaves and stems
-Shake out picking bags
-Inspect harvesting equipment
-Get on board with area-wide treatments