The citrus greening quarantine has expanded to Brazoria and Galveston counties, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.
Citrus greening is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. The disease poses no threat to humans or animals but has ruined millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Citrus greening is a devastating bacterial disease that affects the production, quality and appearance of citrus and ornamental trees and herbal plants closely related to citrus. Also known as Huanglongbing, or yellow dragon disease, it is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which is vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid.
The citrus greening quarantine now includes more than two dozen counties located primarily in South Texas and the Coastal Bend.
Stephen Brueggerhoff, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent, Brazoria County, said the quarantine represents restrictions put into place regarding the movement of plant material and all varieties known to be impacted by the disease. It is believed the disease was discovered in a residential backyard citrus variety.
The best ways to ensure that the disease does not spread to more parts of the state are prevention and early intervention, Brueggerhoff said. No one should bring in citrus plants from states where the disease and/or Asian citrus psyllid have been detected — nor from counties in Texas that are under quarantine.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.