Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Citrus Quarantine...Shouting From The Rooftop!!

Okay, I know I should not be angry. It is more or less just an issue of people being ignorant to the facts. Citrus trees, leaves, stems, roots, cuttings or any other part of the tree CAN NOT be brought out of Florida. Period, end of discussion.
I got on this rant today because I was talking to a gentleman that had just brought a Meyer lemon up from Florida. He had no idea it was illegal!! I quickly told him and explained everything to him. I also told him about watching for signs of disease. I have been harping on this for what seems like eons. Please pass this on to anybody you know, help me shout it from the rooftops.

This is what the USDA has to say about all this:
The entire state of Florida is under quarantine for Citrus Greening Disease and Asian Citrus Psyllids.
It is illegal to move live citrus plants, plant parts, budwood, or cuttings from Florida. (Note: Dooryard citrus fruit cannot be moved from Florida unless the fruit is packed at a certified packinghouse and has been issued a Limited Permit by USDA. Florida gift fruit must also come from a certified packinghouse and be shipped under a Limited Permit issued by USDA. In either case, dooryard citrus or gift fruit cannot be shipped to California, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Louisiana, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.)

If you are buying Citrus trees online, check to see where they are from. If they are in Florida, they should have some kind of warning like this on their website.
Due to the widespread occurrence of Citrus Canker and Citrus Greening (Huanglongbing), the USDA placed the entire state of Florida under quarantine. It is against the law to ship or move trees outside the state. This is an action to protect the citrus industries in California, Texas, Arizona and Louisiana. Although we have never been allowed to ship to these states, the USDA feels this action is necessary to prevent a tree from Florida being moved into a citrus state by a homeowner or dealer.

Along with the entire state of Florida, the parishes Orleans and Washington in Louisiana, and Charleston and Beaufort Counties in South Carolina, are under quarantine for Citrus Greening Disease and Asian Citrus Psyllids. You can not move Citrus trees from any of these places.

I even learned this in researching for this article, In Florida, it is unlawful for homeowners to propagate citrus plants. This according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

IF you are caught leaving Florida with any part of the Citrus tree, they can fine you and will confiscate and destroy the tree.
Please don't risk your neighbors Citrus trees. Buy them from a non quarantine state. Leave Florida's trees in Florida. Please, help me pass this around, it is the only way we can stop the spread of this disease until they find a cure.
Happy Growing!


  1. Illegal to propigate? That's heartbreaking!

  2. Hello from the Virgin Islands!
    Even though we are a quarantine state, is it possible to ship citrus here?

  3. Hello Amber,
    I am not completely sure of the issues sending to the Virgin Islands.
    Usually, you can send stuff into, just not out of a quarantine area.
    I do know this much:
    U.S. Virgin Islands is under quarantine for citrus greening disease and Asian citrus psyllids. It is illegal to move live citrus plants, plant parts, budwood, or cuttings from USVI.

    In addition, movement of citrus and related host plants from the U.S. Virgin Islands to other parts of the US are prohibited by 7 CFR 318.13 State of Hawaii & Territories Quarantine.
    Again, sending it to you guys, I am not sure of. I would assume as long as it is from someplace NOT in quarantine, it would be okay. Normally, a quarantine can send to another quarantine, but being yours would require flight and probably stops in between that would not be in quarantine, it might be a no no. I will see if I can get a better answer for you. In the meantime, check with some nurseries online that are in a safe area. A great site to see who is and isn't in a quarantine is:
    Hope this helps.
    Take Care!

  4. Buyer beware of, or as if you buy from them you could get a visit from the USDA. Purchase another quarantined tree from them after the USDA visits and you could be slapped with a fine of up to $60,000. As well as any damage your plant causes to citrus plants in your area. Don't believe me look it up on-line at the USDA. Also after a little investigating I found that this company has an "F" rating from the Florida (BBB) Better Business Bureau. DO NO do business with these guys unless you want to face the possibility of diseases and steep fines. Consider yourself warned, but again don't take my word for it. Do your own research and check out sites like the Florida BBB, and Daves garden just to name a few. They have a long trail of very unhappy customers.