Attention Homeowners With Citrus Trees

Certified Arborists Serving Ventura & Los Angeles Counties

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

When it comes to outbreaks of disease and pests that affect our trees and landscaping, we’ve been pretty fortunate here in Ventura County. Unlike some areas of the country, we’re seldom hit hard. As of early October, 2023, however, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has raised a yellow flag.

A disease that affects citrus trees has been detected on some trees on a residential property in Santa Paula. The disease has an exotic name — Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB) — reflecting its possible origin in China, although its symptoms were first described in trees hit by the disease in India back in the 1920’s. Fast forward a century and the disease had spread to Florida, along with spots in the Caribbean.

For now, it’s a very limited outbreak. Still, the CDFA is instituting a quarantine area in a five-mile radius around the infected site to restrict the movement of citrus fruit, trees and related plant material. The reason for such caution is that HLB is the most serious disease known to affect citrus trees. Although it does not pose a threat to humans or animals, it can and often does wipe out a citrus crop. Symptoms of the disease include a blotchy mottle on the leaves, vein thickening, fruit drop, the development of misshapen, improperly colored fruit and citrus with a bitter taste.

If you’re in the quarantine area around Santa Paula, the CDFA says:

  • Do not move citrus plants, leaves or foliage into or out of the quarantine area or across state or international borders. Keep it local.
  • Cooperate with agricultural officials placing traps, inspecting trees and treating for the disease.
  • If you no longer wish to care for your citrus tree, consider removing it so it does not become a host to the disease.

If you’re anywhere else in Ventura County and have some citrus trees in your yard, check the CDFA website to keep up on any news that might affect you. Look for “Recent Press Releases” in the middle of the home page for updates.