The Citrus Disease That Devastated Florida Oranges Is Now In Riverside

Oranges are seen in a tree as the citrus industry tries to find a cure for the disease citrus greening that is caused by the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect, that carries the bacterium, citrus greening or huanglongbing, from tree to tree on May 13, 2013 in Fort Pierce, Florida. 
There is no known cure for the disease that forms when the insect deposits the bacterium on citrus trees causing the leaves on the tree to turn yellow the roots to decay and bitter fruits fall off the dying branches prematurely. 
Steps continue to be taken to try and combat the disease but none have stopped the attack on the citrus business as it spreads from Florida to other citrus producing states. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Citrus disease Huanglingbing already devastated Florida’s juice industry. Now it’s been found in Riverside and could be bad for local fresh fruit.
A tree disease that devastated Florida’s citrus industry has been spotted in Riverside.
If it reaches a similar level of infection that it did in Florida, it would be bad news for lovers of grapefruit, lemons and oranges, as well as the Californians who grow them. 
It’s called Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening Disease. 
This disease is a devastating plant disease that basically starves citrus trees of nutrients and eventually kills the tree, Joyce Jong, agricultural business development coordinator for Riverside, told Take Two’s A Martinez.
If California has to deal with a similar infection level as Florida, the results would radically change the state’s fresh fruit market. California grows 80 percent of the fresh fruit citrus in the United States, Jong said. If HLB is spread into our commercial citrus production in the state, it has the potential to ruin the marketability of California citrus.
But state officials are working to stay on top of the situation. The best way to make sure that Citrus Greening Disease doesn’t reach the point of danger is for citrus tree owners to report the disease as soon as they see it.
[Huanglongbing] is a death sentence for citrus. But, by working together, we can very quickly find and eliminate this disease so it does not spread.

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