The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of citrus canker disease in a nursery in South Carolina. The nursery sells plants to consumers through online sales. Other nurseries did not receive these plants.
Together with state partners, APHIS is working to collect and destroy the plants shipped to consumers in 11 states and trace plants that were sold to determine additional locations of potentially infected plants. The states include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Washington. These immediate measures are focused on protecting the citrus industry as well as nurseries and other establishments that sell citrus plants wholesale and directly to consumers.
Currently, citrus canker is found throughout Florida and in limited areas of Louisiana and Texas. APHIS is working with state partners to contain the disease, and federal and state quarantines exist in these states. Additionally, citrus canker was recently confirmed in Alabama, and APHIS is working with state partners to establish a federal quarantine to parallel the state quarantine.
“If you live in one of the 11 states and bought citrus plants online that came from South Carolina between Aug. 5, 2021, and Feb. 17, 2022, please keep your plants for now,” APHIS requested. “If you purchased a plant or plants that might be infected, APHIS and/or state officials will contact you in the next several days to collect and properly dispose of any plants purchased from the nursery. You can also call your local USDA office.” Find contact information.
Citrus canker causes citrus leaves and fruit to drop prematurely and results in lesions on citrus leaves, stems and fruit. Fruit infected with the bacterium (Xanthomonas axonopodis) that causes citrus canker is safe to eat, but it may not be marketable because of the lesions. The disease affects all citrus varieties. Citrus canker is not harmful to people or animals.
More information about citrus canker regulations is available here.
Source: USDA APHIS
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