For updated coverage April 5 on this story see "Growers say citrus greening in California was only matter of time."
Huanglongbing, the disease that has caused devastating damage to the Florida citrus industry, has been found in California.
HLB, also known as citrus greening, was found in a lemon/pummelo tree in a residential neighborhood in the Los Angeles suburb of Hacienda Heights, according to a news release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
The find was confirmed by CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture March 30. The infected tree will be removed and citrus trees within 875 yards of the tree will be treated, according to the release.
Citrus greening, first identified in 2005, has destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of citrus in Florida. It also has been found in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana.
Asian citrus psyllids, the insects that can carry greening, were first found in California in 2008. Until the March find, none tested positive for greening.
On March 8, Robert Leavitt, CDFA’s acting director of plant health and pest prevention services, told citrus industry representatives that the department was prepared to order mandatory spraying and tree removal should greening be found.