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NYTimes: San Gabriel Valley Citrus Trees in Danger

The New York Times reports that a citrus disease could threaten trees across Southern California, and leads the story with an Altadena back yard citrus grower.

Back yard citrus trees in the San Gabriel Valley are in serious danger of dying off from citrus greening disease, according to a report in the New York Times.

The article leads with a back yard citrus grower in Altadena who fears the disease will destroy his trees. A tree in Los Angeles County was found infected, the New York Times report states, and once an infection happens in the area, it spreads very quickly.

A University of California, Riverside professor told the Times that many of Southern California's large citrus trees are probably going to be lost.

The disease can be treated, according to the article, but treatment is time intensive and is more practical for commercial growers than it is for amateurs.

While the insect that spreads the disease was first spotted in 2008, according to the Times, a story on the Growing Produce website notes that the actual disease was found for the first time in L.A County earlier this month in Hacienda Heights.

According to a map on the California Department of Food Agriculture website, a quarantine on citrus trees has been established in a 93-square-mile area in southeast L.A. County, centered around Hacienda Heights. Altadena, and most of the San Gabriel Valley, is not currently included in the quarantine area.

A still exists in Altadena and other nearby San Gabriel Valley cities.

According to the U.S. Food and Agriculture Department website, citrus greening has harmed trees in Asia, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Brazil, and an outbreak also occurred in 2005.

Citrus owners can help work to prevent the disease by reporting any sighting of the Asian citrus psyllid, which is pictured on right. Any sightings should be reported to the state Department of Food and Agriculture.

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