The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture have discovered cases of Huanglongbing (HLB) in Orange County with one case reported in Yorba Linda. The disease is spread by a pest called the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that feeds on citrus tree leaves, which causes a bacteria, called Huanglongbing, to spread. If a tree is infected, it can die in as little as five years. The disease is not harmful to humans or animals.
The CFDA has approved a treatment plan for citrus trees in yards within a 400-meter radius of an infected tree. Those in the affected area will be notified by the CFDA at least 48 hours in advance of treatment. A public meeting will also be scheduled for those in the treatment area.
To prevent the spread of HLB within Orange County, residents are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- Inspect trees for the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB monthly, or whenever watering, spraying, or pruning trees. View photos of what to look for on the CFDA website. Pest and disease management is critical to protect not just your own tree, but also your neighbors’ trees. If you spot the pest or disease, please call 800-491-1899;
- For smaller young trees, apply water at the tree’s trunk. As the tree grows, water a larger area around the tree. Newly planted trees should be watered every three to seven days, and older trees can be watered every week or two;
- Apply fertilizer. Ask your local nursery or garden center about which fertilizer is best;
- When grafting citrus trees, only use registered budwood that comes with source documentation, such as the budwood offered through the Citrus Clonal Protective Program; information is available on their website; and
- Be sure to dry out citrus tree clipping or double bag them before removing.
For additional information, please visit the Citrus Pest & Disease prevention website, or contact the CDFA a 800-491-1899.