When you buy and grow citrus, there are five things you should know:
- Be Aware of Quarantines. Be aware of the quarantines in your state. Do not move citrus trees, fruit or trimmings from these areas. Not only are you risking spreading citrus diseases by transporting citrus outside of these areas, but it's also against the law. Review the quarantine map.
- Inspect Citrus Plants Regularly for Diseases and Insects. Visit our symptom checklist and corresponding photos to identify a plant infected by citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. If you detect an infected plant, report it immediately.
- Keep Homegrown Citrus at Home. Help reduce the spread of citrus diseases by not moving your homegrown citrus fruit or plants from quarantine areas or across state lines. Enjoy your fruit with friends and neighbors, but be sure to obtain a federal certificate if you're thinking of transporting your citrus outside of your state. To inquire about transporting your citrus out of state, contact your USDA State Plant Health Director's office.
- Check the Citrus Plant Supplier. Be a savvy buyer. Citrus plants sold in a regulated state must be sold from a certified vendor and be accompanied by a USDA certificate. Commercial fruit packers, internet shippers and roadside vendors within regulated states should be able to prove they are in compliance with the federal quarantine. Before you buy, ask the vendor if their product is in compliance. Review the quarantine map. If you buy a plant that is disease-free, you'll have a much healthier, more productive tree.
- Avoid Fines and Penalties. Because citrus diseases have destroyed millions of acres of citrus around the world, they present an immediate and urgent threat to America. If you knowingly purchase citrus in violation of quarantine regulations and requirements, the penalties you could incur range from $1,100 to $60,000 per violation. If you suspect citrus is being moved improperly, report your concerns to USDA's Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance toll-free hotline at (800) 877-3835.