NORCO ( — A deadly tree virus in Riverside County could pose both an ecological and economic threat this season.

KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports the fusarium fungus has been found near Norco.

County agriculture officials say the fungus could threaten oak trees and, perhaps more importantly from an economic standpoint, the lucrative avocado crop.

The fungus – which is carried by a beetle that bores into the trees and leads to what is called “Fusarium dieback” (PDF) – has turned up in 117 different plant species in the region and infected both ornamental street trees and backyard trees.

It first popped up in Los Angeles County a year ago and spread to Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties before being discovered recently in Riverside County.

Avocado production was expected to be up this year,  although the average size of the fruit is smaller than in past years.


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