Disease That Could Devastate Citrus Growers Detected in San Bernardino County for 1st Time

Blotchy mottle is seen on citrus leaves infected by Huanglongbing, a deadly citrus disease. (Credit: Citrus Research Board via Los Angeles Times)

Blotchy mottle is seen on citrus leaves infected by Huanglongbing, a deadly citrus disease. (Credit: Citrus Research Board via Los Angeles Times)

An economically devastating citrus disease has been detected for the first time in San Bernardino County, expanding an already large quarantine area aimed at keeping the malady from hitting the commercial groves centered in the southern San Joaquin Valley, according to California agricultural authorities.

Just one tree near the city of Montclair was stricken with citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing, a bacterial infection spread by a tiny insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, according to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

An existing quarantine sparked by previous detections in Los Angeles and Orange counties has been expanded by 93 square miles, creating a contiguous 1,015-square-mile area. Another quarantine is in effect in Riverside County.

The measure imposes strict prohibitions on transporting citrus trees and fruit. No fruit that is not commercially cleaned and packed, including residential citrus, can be moved from the property on which it is grown, although it may be processed or consumed on the premises.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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