Citrus canker

What is it?

Citrus canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri) is a highly contagious bacterial disease affecting citrus. It is a notifiable plant pest in NSW.

How is it characterised?

Symptoms first appear on the leaves of citrus trees. Citrus canker is characterised by small yellow marks the size of a pinhead which develop into pimply, watery dots. These can then develop into scabby lesions or cankers. Infection causes lesions on the leaves, stems, and fruit of citrus trees, including lime, oranges, and grapefruit.

How is it spread?

Wind-driven rain and water splash are the primary means of short distance spread of citrus canker bacteria within and between trees. Long distance spread occurs through the movement of infected plants or plant parts including nursery trees and propagation material. Cyclones and severe weather events that include strong winds and rain can spread citrus canker long distances.

Where is it found?

Citrus canker is not present in NSW but has been detected in the Northern territory and Western Australia. These detections have prompted a nationally coordinated eradication effort that includes movement controls and quarantine measures designed to prevent further spread.

What is the potential cost to Australia?

Citrus canker poses a serious threat to Australia’s $462 million citrus industry.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for citrus canker. Prevention is the best option to protect against citrus canker.

How do I report it?

If you suspect symptoms of citrus canker, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

More information

For more information, visit citrus canker.