While individual citrus trees are standard in residential yards across Texas, commercial crops of oranges and grapefruit are almost totally located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, with about 85 percent of the acreage in Hidalgo County, 14 percent in Cameron County and only about 1 percent in Willacy County.
The Texas citrus industry supports almost 6,000 jobs and has an economic impact of $189 million annually.
Don’t Go Green: Texas 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. The entire state of Texas is under temporary state emergency quarantine for Asian citrus psyllid. A portion of Hidalgo County is under state quarantine for citrus greening disease. State and federal officials are conducting a comprehensive survey of the region to identify the extent of potential disease spread. Do not move citrus trees, fruit or trimmings from this area. 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 Texas nursery.
- 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.
State Department of Agriculture
- Texas Department of Agriculture
Texas A&M University