Florida’s agriculture department must pay Orlando area homeowners more than $20 million in compensation for cutting down healthy citrus trees during an effort to eradicate citrus canker.
An Orange County jury on Monday determined that about 60,000 citrus trees cut down were worth almost $345 each.
Wes Parsons, an attorney for the Department of Agriculture, says no decision has been made on an appeal. The department has appealed other decisions in Broward, Palm Beach and Lee counties.
Earlier this year, a Lee County jury awarded $9.8 million to homeowners for lost trees.
The trees were destroyed between 2000 and 2006 in an effort to eradicate citrus canker.
The bacterial infection damages all kinds of citrus, causing a gradual decline until the tree stops producing any fruit.
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