George McEwen is moving fast. He owns McEwen Nursery and it's sitting in a potential quarantine zone. An Asian Citrus Psyllid was discovered roughly 38 miles away near Terra Bella. It's the third find since December.
"This is pretty serious for the industry." McEwen added, "We've got about five nurseries that are going to be in this quarantine area so it's going to affect all of us."
The psyllid seems harmless, it's just 2 millimeters long. But it can carry a tree killing disease known as "HLB" or "Citrus Greening" and there's no cure for it. "We could lose a big part of the industry if we get infected," McEwen said.
If there are more psyllids, the county is hoping the quarantine will slow them down. When it goes into effect, citrus will have to be stripped of stems and leaves before leaving affected orchards.
It'll also keep trees from leaving the area unless they're grown in bug-proof enclosures. That's why McEwen is moving fast. He doesn't have the proper enclosures and he could easily lose $50,000.
"We're in the heart of the citrus industry but we sell our trees everywhere, all nurseries do...from now on we'll just have to be careful where we move trees to." he said.
He plans to build those enclosures but it's too late for some trees. The best he can hope for is a buyer inside the quarantine zone.
An informational meeting will be held for growers on Wednesday. It will be held at the County Ag Building in Tulare and starts at 9:00 a.m.