The California Department of Food and Agriculture is reporting that two more citrus trees have tested positive for the deadly huanglongbing disease in the San Gabriel area of Los Angeles County. The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program (CPDPP) stated the trees were located in a residential backyard where trees had previously been confirmed HLB positive and have been removed. The CPDPP said they worked with the home owner to have the new confirmed trees removed as well.
The newest finds are a result of the ongoing HLB surveys being conducted in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. All of the HLB confirmed trees found in California are located in residential areas and quarantines have yet to affect any commercial groves.
The only way to determine if a tree is positively infected with HLB is to use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. The PCR test can produce a false negative during the first stages of infection. This means a tree could carry the HLB disease sometime before it is detected and removed. Experts say it would be wise for the industry to assume there are more infected trees out there.