Citrus canker

NT declared free of citrus canker

The Northern Territory (NT) has been declared free of citrus canker. You can now plant and move citrus plants in the NT.

From 12 April 2021, movement restrictions will no longer apply in Katherine and the greater Darwin areas.

Intrastate and interstate trade of citrus plants and plant material can resume to normal checks.

You should still check your plants and report any signs of the disease.

Citrus canker is a contagious plant disease that affects the health of plants including:

  • lemon
  • lime
  • mandarin
  • pomelo
  • grapefruit
  • some native species.

Infected plants display lesions that can form on leaves, fruit and stems.

The lesions increase in size to 5-10 millimetres (mm) over several months.

Eventually the lesions collapse forming a crater-like appearance. They become surrounded by characteristic yellow halos. The raised edges of the lesion may appear slimy.

Plants with the disease may have sluggish growth and reduced fruit quality and quantity.

In severe cases infected plants will die.

Plants that can get the disease

Citrus canker can infect all citrus plants and some other species. Get a full list of potential host plants.

Photo of a plant with symptoms of citrus canker Photo of citrus leaves with yellow lesions, a symptom of citrus canker Photo showing citrus canker symptoms on the branch of a citrus plant

Citrus canker can be spread by:

  • wind and rain
  • landscaping equipment
  • people through hands, clothing, or equipment
  • infected or exposed plants or plant parts.

Increased risk in the wet season

There is a greater risk of citrus canker spreading during the wet season due to increased rain and wind.

Citrus canker symptoms are also more common after heavy rain and high temperatures.

It is important to check your plants during the wet season and report any changes.

Storms may also interrupt the work of plant health inspectors in removing plants from properties in restricted areas.

Last updated: 12 April 2021

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