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Citrus Tristeza Virus


Symptoms of Citrus tristeza virus include reduced tree size, vigor and fruit yield.


CTV is transmitted by aphids and there is no known treatment. It can show up as “quick decline” of the tree, but this is unusual in Hawaii because we use disease-tolerant rootstocks.

A more serious problem is “stem pitting” which causes deformation on the tree branches. It is a major problem with lime and grapefruit; less of a problem with orange, tangelo and Tahitian lime.


Do not confuse Citrus tristeza virus with Citrus blight (below).

Citrus Blight

Citrus blight also causes a rapid decline of the tree. The cause is unknown. It is common in tropical, humid areas, but IS NOT COMMON in Hawaii.  Trees grow normally for 5 or 6 years then begin to wilt and lose leaves. One part of the tree may die back before spreading to the entire tree. Trees become unproductive but rarely die.  No treatment is known.

Kendal Lyon, Hawaii Island Master Gardeners