You have heard the saying ‘move it or lose it.’ Well, when it comes to citrus trees, we say ‘Move It AND Lose It.’ When you move citrus trees, you risk losing America’s citrus altogether – think about life with no fresh oranges, limes, grapefruit or even juice.
Five Things You Need to Know
- Be Aware of Quarantines. Knowing where quarantines are is key to preventing the spread of disease. For example, if you live in Starr County Texas, and Hildago County is under quarantine for both the Asian citrus psyllid and citrus greening, this means that citrus cannot leave these counties. No citrus plants, fruit, equipment or items made with citrus (such as floral arrangements, wreaths, potpourri or seasonings like kaffir lime leaves) may be moved from quarantined areas. Not only are you risking spreading citrus diseases by transporting citrus outside of these areas, but it's also against the law. Check our interactive quarantine map to learn what areas are under quarantine.
- Inspect Citrus Plants Regularly for Diseases and Insects. Check citrus plants for signs of Huanglongbing and other citrus diseases. 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 homegrown citrus plants or fruits. Even if a tree looks healthy, don’t move it. This is the simplest yet most important thing for all Americans to do to protect our citrus.
- Check Citrus Plant Suppliers. Be a savvy buyer. Buy citrus plants from a reputable, licensed nursery. Commercial fruit packers, Internet shippers and roadside vendors within regulated states should be able to show that they are in compliance with the federal quarantine. Before you buy, ask the vendor if their product is in compliance. If you buy a plant that is disease-free, you'll have a much healthier, more productive tree.
- Avoid Fines and Penalties. If you knowingly purchase citrus trees in violation of quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties could range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation. If you suspect citrus trees are being moved improperly, report it to your State Plant Health Director's office; you can find contact information online at www.aphis.usda.gov/StateOffices.