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Citrus greening found in AlabamaCitrus greening has been discovered on citrus trees in Alabama.
“We knew this would happen one day, we were just trying to prolong it as long as we could. It’s happened in Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, we were the only ones to keep it out of our state until now,” said Gary Underwood, Owner of Underwood Pecan & Citrus Nursery.
The disease has wiped out the majority of citrus trees in Florida.
“In Florida, which is one of our biggest citrus producing states, it has already decreased their citrus production by 70%. So, it could wipe out the citrus industry completely,” said Dr. Conner.
“They said in 10 years there will be no more citrus left in Florida. Most likely it’s that devastating,” said Underwood.
Right now, the state of Alabama is under a quarantine, which means it’s very important for homeowners to buy a citrus tree from an Alabama grower.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is setting up workshops and meetings to reach out to homeowners and educate them on the disease and how they can prevent bringing it into the state so it doesn’t spread from their trees to commercial orchards.
They encourage homeowners if they do suspect they have the disease to contact the Plant Protection Quarantine unit, so they can send someone out to look at the plant. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will collect a sample and take it to a diagnostic lab and test it for the disease. If it’s positive, they will have to come out, treat it for insects and then cut the tree down and take it to a landfill. A week later, they will treat the stump so it doesn’t regrow.
Publication date: 8/8/2017
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