Citrus Apocalypse part 2! Yellow Dragon on the Move.

CitrusGreening2If you’ve read our previous blog entry on citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon disease, you have an idea of the threat it poses to the vitality and existence of our citrus trees. This disease was introduced to our region by a singular retail chain of nurseries. This business has stores in Harris county (where the disease was first identified in our region), as well as Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Consequently citrus greening has now been identified in Fort Bend and Montgomery counties.

As confirmed by Bryan Black, director of Communications, Texas Department of Agriculture, via email:

“On Sept. 18, 2014, the Texas Department of Agriculture issued a citrus greening quarantine to include Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. In addition to these counties, Cameron, Hidalgo and Harris counties also are under quarantine.

“The purpose of the citrus greening quarantine is to regulate the movement of potentially infected plant material, thus slowing the spread of this disease. All citrus plants, including orange jasmine and curry plants, cannot be moved out of the quarantined counties.

“Citrus greening poses absolutely NO threat to human health, as it only affects the tree itself and not the fruit. Although there is no cause for consumer alarm, the disease has caused serious economic damage to the citrus industries in Florida, Africa, Asia and South America. Citrus producers and homeowners with citrus plants are asked to comply with quarantine measures to protect Texas citrus trees.

“All retailers, wholesalers, landscapers and citrus producers in the Gulf Coast citrus greening quarantined area must limit their distribution of citrus plants to Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties. Additionally, these parties must comply with specific requirements, including:

Attaching information tags to trees to inform customers not to move the citrus plants outside a quarantined boundary,

Training staff to understand the disease symptoms, quarantine restrictions and pest management, and

Communicating quarantine requirements to customers.”

Our Cypress store is in Harris county and has been cleared by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to sell its stock of citrus trees. Our Katy location is in Fort Bend county and is still awaiting inspection to be cleared to sell. (Wohoo! We’ve been cleared to sell). You should find information labels certifying and clearing the citrus trees for sale wherever you go within Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery counties now classified by the TDA as the Gulf Coast Quarantine Area.

Buyer beware! Shoddy nurseries have always been incubators of plant disease and pests. As this particular disease introduced to our region by one business highlights it is important to seek out reputable sources for plant material. This website will continue to expand its database of information regarding pests and disease to bring awareness and further educate anyone wanting to learn how to keep a happy healthy garden.

For more information on citrus greening and the back story to this entry please follow this link to our previous post.

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2 thoughts on “Citrus Apocalypse part 2! Yellow Dragon on the Move.

  1. tim

    if you have purchased a myers lemon tree in harris county from Houston garden center and inadvertently taken to waller county. What should be done with the tree?

    Reply

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