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Leu Gardens’ Historic Citrus Grove Succumbs to Greening

Greening is a disease that weakens citrus trees. The fruit becomes unusable. Photo by Amy Green / WMFE

Leu Gardens will replace its citrus grove.

The gardens says nearly all of its historic grove has succumbed to citrus greening.

About 50 citrus trees will be replaced.

Keri Byrum of Leu Gardens says the trees had been diseased for several years.

“We are instead of planting citrus we’re going to go with some of the other fruit trees that are possible to grow in central Florida. So we’re going to have some pomegranates and peaches. There’s also blackberries.”

Greening is a disease that is spread by a tiny insect called a psyllid. It starves trees of nutrients, ruining the fruit. Most infected trees eventually die.

Citrus greening is among the worst to hit a U.S. crop. It has devastated Florida’s iconic industry.

Byrum says the gardens will harvest its last citrus crop and replant later next year.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »