Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllids

Last week, I attended a specialist training class on citriculture, with a special emphasis on Citrus Greening (CG) and Asian Citrus Psyllids (ACP).  Citrus Greening is an incurable bacterial disease that affects all kinds of citrus and related plants.  It is spread by the Asian Citrus Psyllid, a small insect that transmits the disease while feeding on the sap of the host plant.

Asian Citrus Psyllid, Photo: David Hall, USDA

CG is a devastating disease that originated in the Far East but is now spreading throughout the New World.  The disease is currently present in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia, as well Belize, Cuba, Jamaica and parts of Mexico.  The psyllids that transmit the disease are present in these states, as well as Alabama, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Texas and the Virgin Islands.   It is likely that hurricanes play a role in spreading the disease by translocating infected insects.

Symptoms of Citrus Greening, Photo by J.M. Bové, bugwood.org)

We can't do much about hurricanes but we can help prevent the spread of Citrus Greening and the migration of Asian Citrus Psyllids.  All areas where either the disease or the insect have been found are under quarantine.  It's against the law to move citrus or other related plants from an area with either CG or ACP to another area.  Please don't move citrus plants, leaves or fruit into or out of a quarantine area.  If you purchase citrus, make sure you are dealing with a reputable supplier who understands and complies with federal and state regulations.  This disease has the potential to eradicate the entire citrus industry in Texas. 

As part of my training, I'll be inspecting citrus trees around here, looking for signs of the disease or the psyllids themselves.  I hope I don't find them!  For more information about citrus greening, see the websites listed below.  Check back frequently as the situation changes rapidly.


  1. aloha,

    very noteworthy topic in terms of citrus issues/diseases which rarely come up...i don't think i've even heard this in discussions in hawaii-thank god....it seems like there's so many things to battle lately but at least this hasn't bubbled up as a major concern in this neck of the woods..good luck in your area

  2. I have some greening on my trees.. I believe. The problem is the leaves look like those depicted, but they can also be citrus canker. Not sure whether to take the tree down or not.