Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Citrus Canker FAQ

Citrus canker is a bacterial disease of citrus that causes premature leaf and fruit drop.

Citrus canker is highly contagious and can be spread rapidly by:

  • Windborne rain
  • Lawnmowers and other landscaping equipment
  • People carrying the infection on their hands, clothing, or equipment
  • Moving infected or exposed plants or plant parts

Select a question below to expand the answer.

What does citrus canker look like?

Symptoms on leaves and fruit are brown, raised lesions surrounded by an oily, water-soaked margin and a yellow ring or halo. Old lesions in leaves may fall out, creating a shot-hole effect.
leaf2a Leaves affected by citrus canker Leaves affected by citrus canker

Is the disease harmful to me?

No, citrus canker does not harm humans or animals or plant life other than citrus.

I think my tree has citrus canker, what should I do?

Please contact your local  Extension office.

Can I send in a sample of my sick citrus tree?

Please do not mail or bring in samples to your county Extension office. Instead, please ask them to send an agent out to examine your tree.

Are the quarantines still in effect?

The individual quarantines have been eliminated, but there is a USDA statewide quarantine in effect. There are restrictions on shipping or taking fruit out of Florida. Please visit the  Citrus Quarantine page for more information.

Can I plant citrus?

Yes. However, you must purchase certified citrus plants from nurseries that are registered with the state and because of devastating diseases such as citrus canker and citrus greening, we strongly recommend that residents find alternatives [ Adobe PDF Document 179,44 KB ] to planting citrus. There are many wonderful fruit trees that can be grown in your area.

Can I cut down my citrus tree, or can I hire someone to cut it down?

Voluntary removal of citrus trees is allowed.