Vol 117 (2004): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society

Status of the citrus canker eradication program in florida and university of florida citrus canker extension program

Holly L. Chamberlain
Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
Published December 1, 2004
  • xanthomonas axonopodis,
  • citrus canker,
  • eradication,
  • extension education


Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv citri, was detected in Florida for the third time in 1995 near the Miami International Airport on a residential citrus tree. Since detection, citrus canker has spread to sixteen different counties in central and south Florida. Various legal battles in the residential sector have halted eradication efforts in some areas of Florida. However, recent decisions from the Florida State Supreme Court have upheld the eradication process and procedures. Over two million commercial citrus trees and nearly 800 thousand residential trees have been removed. Eradication continues in residential areas and in commercial groves where canker is detected; quarantines are being removed from areas following successful eradication. A citrus canker extension program was developed to lead and coordinate education for the commercial citrus industry, homeowners, and non-citrus commercial businesses. The mission of the program is to reduce the spread of citrus canker by eliminating transport of infected citrus plant material and encouraging decontamination of vehicles and personnel. The Division of Plant Industry continues to address legal issues where necessary and conduct extensive survey and control efforts. Public and private agencies have partnered to continue statewide education activities meeting the needs of various audiences.