Last year, Tulare County developed a plan to remove dead or abandoned citrus trees as one of the many tools used to combat the spread of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). The Tulare County Board of Supervisors authorized $250,000 for the Agricultural Commissioner’s Department to use in the removal of unhealthy trees that pose a risk.
“The purpose and the reason behind all that is to remove any type of harborage for the Asian citrus psyllid so that it or they could not find a place to grow safely without anybody paying attention,” said Tom Tucker, assistant agricultural commissioner in Tulare County.
Tucker noted that Tulare County may be the first to enact this particular type of proactive approach in fighting the spread of ACP. The abatement program has taken enforcement action on 60 properties totaling 423 acres of dead or neglected trees. Through further education and outreach efforts, several property owners have also removed more than 100 acres of unhealthy citrus on their own accord.
“As everybody knows, our growers are constantly treating their fields and taking care of any psyllid that might accidentally happen along. However, an abandoned grove is not in that case. Nobody’s watching it; nobody’s caring for it,” said Tucker. “Getting these fields removed would provide a very good benefit to our citrus industry.”