A residential citrus tree in town has tested positive for a plant disease called Huanglongbing (HLB) that infects and kills all citrus tree varieties, marking the first time the disease has been confirmed within Irvine.
HLB is spread by a small pest called the Asian citrus psyllid that feeds on leaves and stems of citrus trees. HLB is not harmful to humans or animals, but once a tree is infected, it will die and must be removed.
To limit the spread of HLB, a citrus plant quarantine is in place throughout portions of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The HLB detection in Irvine has expanded the quarantine to include almost all of Irvine, from University Hills and Turtle Rock, east to Shady Canyon Drive and everything north.
California homeowners – 60% of whom are estimated to own citrus trees – play an important role in protecting our State’s citrus and are being asked to protect their backyard trees by searching for signs of the pest and disease.
If you suspect your citrus tree has the disease, call the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hotline at (800) 491-1899.