Although it has been pervasive in Southern California for a while, California agricultural officials have now identified a deadly plant disease in Carson for the first time. The disease is known as Huanglongbing, or HLB. It infects citrus trees with a deadly bacteria that slowly kills them and renders the tree’s fruit rancid. It spreads through Asian citrus psyllids, small insects that also cause serious damage to citrus trees.
With state officials recently discovering the disease in Carson, the city’s citrus trees have been placed under a quarantine order by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Under the order, the state advises residents not to move citrus trees and their fruit outside of the city, though they can still be shared locally.
The quarantine is a crucial step to prevent HLB from spreading into California’s commercial citrus groves, officials said. If the disease does spread, the state’s fruit production and agricultural economy could be seriously damaged.