Bayer and CCM team up to protect California's citrus trees

The ACT program allows CCM to work with local residents to remove trees that are a threat to the surrounding commercial citrus groves.
The ACT program allows CCM to work with local residents to remove trees that are a threat to the surrounding commercial citrus groves. | File photo

Bayer and California Citrus Mutual (CCM) announced their collaboration to protect citrus trees from the deadly Asian citrus phyllid. 

The Abandoned Citrus Tree (ACT) removal program allows commercial growers to report abandoned citrus trees in surrounding neighborhoods.

The Asian citrus phyllid carries the Haunglongbing (HLB) disease, which is caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The psyllids move from tree to tree, grove to grove, spreading HLB. The disease is known as the citrus greening disease. Once infected, the citrus trees rapidly decline, produce inedible fruit and then die. There is no cure.

The ACT program allows CCM to work with local residents to remove trees that are a threat to the surrounding commercial citrus groves. It facilitates communication between residents, citrus growers and local officials as it works to protect the citrus industry. The CCM website, www.CitrusMatters.us, provides the information that can help homeowners find out about HLB and what they can do to proactively protect their trees.

“We see this as an important partnership with homeowners and the agricultural community to help preserve the integrity and health of the mutual environment we share,” Bayer citrus crop lead Steve Olson said. “The Asian citrus psyllid has wreaked havoc on the Florida citrus industry and has spread to the southwest and western states at an alarming rate. We need residential tree owners to learn about this threat and partner with commercial growers to save California citrus.”

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