There has been some speculation that a citrus tree in Tulare County, Calif.’s top citrus-producing county – Tulare - might have the deadly disease Huanglongbing (HLB).
However, the tree does not have HLB, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
CDFA testing using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method came back negative for HLB. The PCR test is approved by the USDA and recognized internationally.
The tree was treated to remove Asian citrus psyllids and will be monitored for pests plus symptoms of the plant disease.
It is illegal for California residents to bring a plant or plant parts, including leaves or budwood, into the state from other states or countries, says the California Citrus Mutual (CCM) grower association.
Quarantines for HLB and its primary vector - the Asian citrus psyllid - are in place in a number of California counties to prohibit citrus plant movement under most circumstances.
CCM urges residents not to bring citrus trees into the Central Valley from other California counties, or other states and countries. Doing so places all citrus trees at risk for contracting HLB.
Residents who see the Asian citrus psyllid on a tree or suspect the tree may be infected with HLB should call the CDFA telephone hotline at (800) 491-1899.