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Contact: Andy Spyrka
Resource Conservation Specialist
andyspyrka.vcrcd@gmail.com

Do Your Part To Protect Ojai Citrus NOW!

The Ventura County Resource Conservation District (VCRCD), in partnership with the Thelma Hansen Fund, Ventura County Master Gardeners, and the Ventura County Farm Bureau, is saving Ojai Citrus through a non-regulatory, pesticide-free residential citrus tree removal and replacement program. VCRCD is encouraging the removal of all citrus trees within the Project Priority Zone outlined below that are at risk of infection from Huanglongbing (HLB). VCRCD is offering non-citrus fruit or Oak tree replacements FREE OF COST  to participating private and public landowners! 

Funding is provided by the Thelma Hansen Fund. 

Funds are limited - Submit your application now!

Save Ojai Citrus!

The Real Cost of HLB

In the past decade, Huanglongbing (HLB) has been responsible for a 70% decline in the production of oranges for both juice and the fresh fruit market in Florida. As HLB continues to threaten additional states, including California, it is now the largest economic threat to the $3.35 billion U.S. citrus industry. HLB has already spread through much of Southern California, but through the Save Ojai Citrus project VCRCD is aiming to limit that spread in an alternative method to avoid the use of chemical spraying. The reduction of at risk citrus within Ojai will in turn limit the necessity of chemical spraying within the community. 

Huanglongbing (HLB), also referred to as citrus greening disease, is a profoundly serious threat to all varieties of citrus. It spreads when a bacteria-carrying psyllid, known as the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP), flies to a healthy citrus tree and injects bacteria into it as it feeds, resulting in HLB disease. ACP feeds on newly developed plant leaves, also known as flush. The sole presence of ACP is not a direct indicator of HLB. Although, if ACP does carry the bacterium, it can kill a tree in as little as 5 years. Currently, no known cure exists for HLB; the only way to protect a citrus tree is to prevent the spread of ACP and/or destroy infected tree(s).
 
Removal of all citrus trees is encouraged to stop HLB's spread, specifically near farming operations or along major transportation corridors. If HLB is confirmed through a State-issued PCR test, a quarantine will be enacted, resulting in various regulatory actions. This Project aims to take a step before regulatory involvement by offering a removal and replacement program free of charge. Removing YOUR citrus will result in the long-term protection of the California Citrus Industry!  

 

Potential Tree Replacements

Fig

Apple

Avocado

Peach

Nectarine

Persimmon

Pomegranate

And more....

Full tree replacement list availble CLICK HERE.

Signs of HLB in Citrus

 

Yellowing of leaves on an individual limb or sector of a tree's canopy

 

Asymmetrical pattern of blotchy yellowing or mottling of the leaf with patches of green on one side of the leaf & yellow on the other side

 

Fruit that is smaller in size and remains green even when ripe

 

     Lopsided, bitter, hard fruit with small, dark aborted seed that may drop prematurely

 

Chronically infected trees are foliated with small leaves that point upward, have extensive twig and limb dieback

 

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It may take years for symptoms to show.

DON'T WAIT FOR SYMPTOMS, ACT NOW!

Why you NEED to remove ALL of your backyard Citrus!

 

Often, we get the question if ALL of a resident's citrus trees should be removed. This is a good question, especially if you only see symptoms on one of your beloved trees. Although, just because one of your trees shows symptoms does not mean the others are not yet infected. See the clickable map below, which links to an interactive map displaying HLB distribution and current quarantines across our region. This Project aims to stop the spread of HLB, and more importantly, reduce the threat of a mandated quarantine in our region. By removing and replacing ALL of your citrus trees, you are taking an important first step. Taking the burden of prevention off of yourself and your fellow neighbors' shoulders allows for the proper actions to be taken by professionals at citrus orchards. 
 
If you cannot part with your citrus, please click on the button below to learn about residential ACP management strategies: 

 

 

 

 

 

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