Huanglongbing Quarantine

Huanglongbing (HLB) has been found in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. There are a handful of rules and regulations in place to help protect the California citrus we love, including an HLB quarantine which places limits on the transport and movement of citrus plants and material to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

To help California residents understand what the HLB quarantine means, the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program answers commonly asked questions to best explain how we all need to work together to protect California’s citrus:

Citrus Orange
What is the HLB quarantine and what does it mean?
  • To limit the spread of the deadly citrus plant disease HLB, an HLB citrus quarantine is in place throughout portions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties in response to HLB detections in those areas.
  • An area is put under the HLB quarantine when an HLB infection is present in a citrus tree or other host plant material nearby. Citrus plant material is routinely collected by California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials to be tested for the disease.
  • Once an HLB detection is confirmed, a quarantine is established within a 5-mile radius of the HLB-infected tree, within which certain restrictions apply to the purchase, sale and movement of citrus plant material and fruit.
  • To further limit the spread of the ACP and HLB, there are additional quarantines in place that make it illegal to bring citrus fruit or plant material into California from other states or countries.
If I live in an HLB quarantine zone, what restrictions must I adhere to?

If you live in an HLB quarantine zone, then you may not:

  • Move citrus plant material out of HLB quarantine boundaries. Host material includes all plant parts, including stems and leaves.
    • If fruit is free of stems and leaves and washed thoroughly, residents may share their backyard harvest inside of the HLB quarantine zone in small quantities – but different rules apply to commercial growers.
  • Bring equipment such as pruning tools used to harvest citrus plant material into or out of HLB quarantine boundaries.
  • Purchase a citrus tree not grown in approved ACP-resistant structures. Retailers and nurseries without ACP-resistant structures within the HLB quarantine zone are prohibited from selling citrus in these areas.
What should I expect if I am in an HLB quarantine zone?

You may see CDFA officials in your neighborhood looking for signs of HLB, collecting plant samples for further testing, removing infected trees or treating trees located near known detections.

  • Officials do not need access to your home or direct contact with you in order to complete their work.
  • Officials may take samples of plant material from your trees for further review and may leave a notice at your door to conduct future inspection work.
  • Officials will have a badge indicating their affiliation with CDFA and/or a uniform shirt or patch clearly identifying their affiliation with CDFA or State Agriculture.
  • Watch this video to learn more about what to expect from agricultural officials and their activities to protect California citrus.
What happens if theres is an infected tree on my property?

If a plant sample collected from your property tests positive for HLB, you will be notified as soon as the results are available, usually within 1-2 weeks. The disease does not harm animals or humans but is fatal for citrus trees, so trees are required to be removed, free of charge, in order to prevent the spread of the disease to nearby trees.

How can I take precaution if I don't live in an HLB quarantine zone?
  • If you choose to plant citrus, make sure to buy your citrus tree from a reputable, licensed nursery in your local area and seek advice from garden center staff on products that can help keep your tree healthy. UC Master Gardeners are available to support your citrus and home gardening questions.
  • Stay vigilant and take action should your citrus trees show signs of the pest or disease.
  • Do not move citrus fruit or plant material into or out of your area or across HLB quarantine boundaries.
  • Cooperate with agricultural officials conducting activities in the area.
What should I do if I suspect HLB in my tree?

If you suspect your tree is infected with HLB, act fast. Call the free statewide pest hotline at 800-491-1899 to speak to an expert. For other inquiries, use the online contact form.