Orange and lime trees are susceptible to some types of citrus disease, but they’re not necessarily in danger of going under the knife.
Researchers at the University of Florida say that although citrus diseases are becoming increasingly common, their spread has not yet been as widespread as scientists thought.
“We have a limited understanding of how they spread,” said the study’s lead author, Daniel Breslow.
“We think it’s very unlikely that they spread at the scale that we’ve seen in previous studies.”
Breslow and his colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers looked at data from the Florida Department of Agriculture’s citrus and fruit tree surveys and found that the vast majority of citrus trees that were surveyed had at least one of the five diseases identified in the study.
“Most trees are still susceptible to at least some of the disease,” Bresline said.
“But we also know that some of those susceptible trees are in decline.
That’s why it’s important to identify the tree that may be at risk.”
In a previous study, researchers found that more than 60 percent of citrus plants in Florida were susceptible to blight and were being killed by the fungus.
The new study found that just 30 percent of trees were susceptible.
“Our findings indicate that most citrus trees in Florida are susceptible,” Benslow said.