New Twist on Greening: Restore the Immune Systems of Citrus Trees

REVERSING THE DAMAGE caused by an herbicide is the solution to citrus greening disease, a researcher says.

A Hazlet, N.J., scientist is weighing in on citrus greening – and he’s made an interesting discovery. In his research, he found citrus has something in common with tomatoes in Ohio – as well as pumpkins and other crops.

What he noticed is they have had similar symptoms like poor quality, reduced size, and lesser volumes, problems being attributed to greening. Pesticides and fertilizers haven’t been helping either.

“It [greening] exists because of the weakening of the plants’ immune system. Or their systemic resistance system is challenged,” asserts Frank Dean, product development manager for LidoChem, Inc.’s Performance Nutrition Division.

The cause is an herbicide that inhibits the plants ability to protect themselves from bacteria and fungal diseases, he says, and the remedy is obvious. Remediate the soil with a microorganism that consumes herbicide residues and apply to the foliage the essential amino acids and minerals that have been blocked. “When you do those two things, all the greening symptoms go away [with new growth],” he says.

Dean, who develops solutions to grower problems, became acquainted with the citrus growers’ plight in Florida when looking for a solution for Ohio tomato growers experiencing problems with poor color and misshapen fruit.

“If you remove the toxins from the system and replace what the toxins blocked, the problems go away,” he says.

Whether the crop is pumpkins, or corn or soy, or something else, he provides the antidote when the wrong herbicide is used. “I look for what interferes with the plant’s ability to protect itself,” he says. “It’s really pretty simple.”

Even when plants are grown organically, there can be a problem with manure containing glyphosate, an active ingredient in weed killer.

“They feed corn and soy to the animals,” he explains. “There’s no rule saying that organic fertilizer has to be glyphosate free.”

LidoChem, which is doing its research gratis, has been doing well with its field testing in the last two years, with no evidence of greening.

“Every problem I’ve ever had in my life, I had my finger in creating,” he says. “If you use that understanding in life … the solutions become obvious.”

This column is sponsored by Guardian Soil Solutions.

BIO: Josh Young is a proud former U.S. Marine and native of Plant City, Florida.  His passion for helping growers led him to co-found Guardian Soil Solutions, a full-service agribusiness that focuses on soil health.  Josh’s love of agriculture stems from his earliest days on his granddaddy’s farm. For more information about Josh and Guardian Soil Solutions, visit

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