In late August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed a portion of Harris County within the Braeswood area of Houston, Texas, from citrus canker regulations. APHIS reported that the successful partnership between itself and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has resulted in a citrus canker-free status in the area since 2016.
On May 20, 2016, APHIS confirmed the positive identification of citrus canker in two adjacent sour orange trees in a city park in the Braeswood area. TDA removed and destroyed both positive citrus canker trees. TDA established an intrastate quarantine area for the disease that paralleled the federal citrus canker regulatory requirements specified in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 301.75. APHIS completed a comprehensive delimiting survey around the area and found no additional citrus trees positive for the disease within the survey area.
In 2020, TDA conducted another comprehensive survey within the Braeswood quarantine area and did not find any infested citrus trees. After the destruction of the two infested trees by TDA in 2016, and with no new detections in two comprehensive surveys conducted by TDA and APHIS, there is no evidence of a citrus canker infestation in the Braeswood area. Accordingly, as stated in 7 CFR § 301.75-4 (c), this area meets the requirements for the removal of the quarantine in the area.
The removal of this quarantine area is reflected on an APHIS website, which also contains a description of all the current federal citrus canker quarantine areas.
Information about the Citrus Health Response Program can be obtained from APHIS Director of Specialty Crops and Cotton Pests Shailaja Rabindran at 301-851-2167.
Learn more about citrus canker eradication efforts in Texas from a recent Citrus Industry article.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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