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Killer citrus disease Huanglongbing found in grapefruit tree at Riverside residence

By in Press Enterprise on July 27, 2017

By Mark Muckenfuss

Citrus greening, a disease that has decimated citrus groves in other parts of the country, has arrived in Riverside County.

County agriculture officials reported the first case of the disease, which was found in a residential grapefruit tree near the Interstate 215/Highway 91 interchange. State officials said the tree was identified when several Asian citrus psyllids in the area tested positive for the bacteria that causes citrus greening.

Ron Bray, assistant agriculture commissioner, said the tree was identified as possibly infected July 10. A sample was sent to a lab in Maryland. Bray said the results came back July 25, showing the tree had the disease. It was removed from the property the following morning.

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Six other trees have been tested. Five of those were negative for the disease. Results are the other, a cumquat tree, are still pending.

“More trees will be tested as they find them,” Bray said.

He said any trees within an 800-meter radius from the infected tree that are susceptible to the disease will be treated in an effort to knock down the population of Asian citrus psyllids.

The psyllid sometimes carries Huanglongbing, or HLB, the citrus greening bacteria. Infected trees exhibit mottled leaves and fruit that is misshapen and fails to […]    

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