GALVESTON

Galveston County has been added to a quarantine zone meant to protect Texas citrus trees from a potentially devastating bacterial disease, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

The Texas Department of Agriculture on Oct. 7 added Galveston County to a quarantine area that also includes Brazoria, Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery Counties.

The zones are meant to protect citrus trees outside the zone from citrus greening, a bacterial disease that is spread by a small bug, the Asian citrus psyllid.

Citrus greening, which is also known as Huanglongbing, can cause trees to produce misshapen and bitter fruit. There is no effective cure for the disease.

The quarantine zones limit where citrus fruits harvested inside a zone can be transported. Fruit harvested inside the zone can only be transported out of it with permission from the agriculture department.

The agriculture department's notice about the expansion of the quarantine zone did not say if any infected trees had been found in Galveston County or if the zone was just a precaution. 

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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