While individual citrus trees are standard in residential yards across Arizona, commercial crops of lemons, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit are produced in the warm climates of Yuma, Mohave, Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Today Arizona is second only to California in lemon production. In 2000, Arizona supplied 13 percent of the nation’s tangerines (third in the U.S.), and remains the fourth largest producer of both oranges and grapefruit. Overall, Arizona produces 38,000 tons of citrus each year, valued at more than $15 million and accounts for thousands of citrus-related jobs within the state..
Don’t Go Green: Arizona Citrus is at Risk
We need your help to prevent the spread of citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). Citrus greening disease (HLB) is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world. It can affect any variety of citrus trees. Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no known cure.
5 Things You Need to Know
- Be Aware of Quarantines. Currently, a portion of La Paz and Yuma Counties and all of Mohave County are under quarantine for Asian citrus psyllid. Do not move citrus trees, fruit or trimmings from these areas. Not only are you risking spreading citrus diseases, but it's also against the law.
- Inspect Citrus Plants Regularly for Diseases and Insects. Check plants for signs of citrus greening such as leathery-feeling leaves with yellow spots or blotches. Fruit from infected trees may be small, deformed and taste bitter. It can also retain a green color rather than ripening to the expected shades of yellow or orange. If you detect an infected plant, report it immediately.
- Keep Homegrown Citrus at Home. Help reduce the spread of citrus diseases by not moving your home-grown citrus fruit or plants from quarantine areas.
- Check the Citrus Plant Supplier. Be a savvy buyer. Only buy citrus plants from a reputable, licensed Arizona nursery. Follow instructions on the tag regarding the Asian citrus psyllid or Huanglongbing (HLB).
- Avoid Fines and Penalties. If you knowingly purchase citrus in violation of quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties could range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation. If you suspect citrus is being moved improperly, report your concerns to the USDA’s State Plant Health Director's office; you can find contact information online at www.aphis.usda.gov/StateOffices.