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Can you bring citrus trees into quarantined states?

I'm trying to buy a Washington Navel Orange Tree in Arizona. When I search online these are priced between $30 and $67 but the online sellers state that they can't ship to AZ because of agriculture regulations. When I visit the nursery they have them for sale at a minimum of $500 which seems to be a bit pricey.

Does anybody know what the regulations are that prevent citrus being shipped to AZ?

(I feel that with a better understanding of the restrictions I'll be able to make more informed decisions.)

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It's also worth commenting that the citrus trees you do see for sale aren't truly citrus trees. They are a certain tree with citrus branches grafted to them. Which means it is possible to have a tree that will never ever bear fruit if the citrus grafts have died. –  rlb.usa Mar 4 at 20:45
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marked as duplicate by Lorem Ipsum Jul 19 '12 at 16:29

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I believe this page is the government page about the regulation.

Specifically this text document.

It's kind of hard to summarize, but this is probably one of the biggest reasons behind it:

Citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing disease of citrus, is considered to be one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. Citrus greening is a bacterial disease, caused by strains of the bacterial pathogen ``Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus,'' that attacks the vascular system of host plants. The pathogen is phloem-limited, inhabiting the food-conducting tissue of the host plant, and causes yellow shoots, blotchy mottling and chlorosis, reduced foliage, and tip dieback of citrus plants. Citrus greening greatly reduces production, destroys the economic value of the fruit, and can kill trees.

But there's several other diseases listed too.

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Allow me to respond to this inquiry from the perspective of the United States Department of Agriculture. Regarding the movement of citrus nursery stock into the state of Arizona, it is true that one of the main challenges we face is the potential movement of existing citrus pests from an area of infestation to an area free from such pests. In this instance, the potential movement of citrus greening and its vector, the Asian Citrus Psyllid, is our main concern. Many of the major citrus nursery stock production areas lie in or near areas where one or both of these two pests have been detected. However, neither Citrus greening nor the Asian Citrus Psyllid is known to occur in Arizona. Therefore, in an ongoing effort to protect not only the commercial citrus industry but also this popular residential landscape plant, federal officials, along with their Arizona state counterparts, regulate the movement of nursery stock into the state. With these efforts, which include meeting certain safeguarding requirements (pre-shipment inspections, treatments, etc.) it is our goal to maintain a healthy citrus industry in Arizona for many years to come. For more information, you can check out the following website: www.saveourcitrus.org. The Arizona Nursery Association may be able to provide a list of nurseries from which to choose your new navel orange tree....480-966-1610 or email: info@azna.org.

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Are you or this site saveourcitrus.org affiliated with the USDA? It looks like it but there is no "about" on the web page. –  kevinsky Jul 19 '12 at 16:11
    
@kevinsky what are you saying? It's right there at the top of the page! :) –  Lorem Ipsum Jul 19 '12 at 21:53
    
There are hyperlinks to USDA sites on that site but there is nothing stating that the site is sponsored/affiliated/authorized by the USDA. It's full of detailed information but it's odd there's not even contact information. –  kevinsky Jul 20 '12 at 1:08
    
@kevinsky: Aside from the logo at the top of the site, a WHOIS query on saveourcitrus.org says it is registered to USDA APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 130, 5A04.20, Riverdale, MD. And a Larry Hawkins is listed as a USDA APHIS PR contact in news releases like this one. There are also links from aphis.usda.gov to saveourcitrus.org. –  bstpierre Jul 20 '12 at 21:36
    
@Larry: Thanks for the explanation. –  bstpierre Jul 20 '12 at 21:37
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