ESPAƑOL

citrus canker leaf260

Citrus Canker causes the citrus tree to continually decline in health and fruit production until the tree produces no fruit at all.

Citrus canker is a bacterial disease of citrus that causes premature leaf and fruit drop. The main symptoms are lesions on the leaves, stems and fruit of citrus trees. While not harmful to humans, the disease affects the health and marketability of infected fruit.

Canker causes the citrus tree to continually decline in health and fruit production until the tree produces no fruit at all. It affects all types of citrus and is highly contagious. Citrus canker can be spread rapidly by:

  • Windborne rain
  • Lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment
  • People carrying the infection on their hands, clothing, or equipment
  • Moving infected or exposed plants or plant parts

While citrus canker is believed to have originated in South East Asia, the disease was first found in the United States in 1910. It was discovered in Florida, but reached as far as the Gulf States and South Carolina before it was eradicated. Citrus canker was detected again on the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1986 and declared eradicated in 1994.
The most recent outbreak of the disease was discovered in Florida in 1995 and after a 10-year eradication effort, the USDA declared that eradication was no longer possible.