Citrus greening is a disease that affects citrus trees in Florida, starving the tree of nutrients and producing fruits that are green and misshapen. Almost all groves in Florida have shown signs of citrus greening, posing a grave threat to the state’s $1.7 billion citrus industry. At UF/IFAS, more than 150 researchers are actively fighting back against citrus greening. One of those researchers is Dr. Reza Ehsani, whose team tents and envelopes trees in steam that is 136 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 seconds in an attempt to kill the citrus greening bacterium. As of 2014 they had heat-treated 800 trees and have been collecting data to monitor the effectiveness of this treatment. In this UF/IFAS video, Lake County citrus grower Cliff Whitaker talks about Dr. Ehsani’s efforts to steam treat his grove.
UF/IFAS researchers are investigating using steam as a treatment for citrus greening. UF/IFAS Photo