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‘Threat of Citrus Greening’ program at East County Regional Library

May 8, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The community is invited to attend a special program at East County Regional Library, which focuses on the "Threat of Citrus Greening."

Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent for the University of Florida, Institute Food and Agriculture Sciences Dr. Mongi Zekri will present the program from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 11. Registration, which can be done at leelibrary.librarymarket.com/events/threat-citrus-greening-0, will close for the event at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11.

Zekri said the greening disease is the most devastating citrus disease in Florida. Due to the disease many growers have given up on growing citrus, which has meant the loss of trees, production and acreage.

"We don't have a cure for it, but we have a tool box we can use to alleviate the problem," he said.

Approximately one-third of citrus acreage and about two-thirds of the citrus production has been lost in the last 12 years.

"Greening was discovered in Florida in 2005. It came to our area about 12 years ago," Zekri said. "There are many strategies that some growers are using and they have been successful."

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The library program will focus on what is needed to keep citrus growing successfully in Florida.

"I will show the symptoms. I have photographs. You see it one time and you will know if you have greening in the backyard. People will see the symptoms on the leaves, fruit and trees. It causes the fruit to drop before reaching maturity," he said.

Zekri hopes that homeowners, who are still interested in growing citrus in their backyard, will attend the program.

"I am growing citrus in my backyard. I am growing limes, lemons and tangelos. They are producing fine. They are all infected, but I am happy with their production. Despite the greening infection, you can still have a decent crop if you take care of your citrus trees," he said.

East County Regional Library is at 881 Gunnery Road. For more information, call (239) 533-4200.

 
 

 

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