What can you do with your leftover citrus? Donate it!

By Mallory Gleich 

The beginning of the year is prime time for citrus gleaning, and the Arcadia neighborhood has no shortage of citrus trees ripe for the picking. 

Gleaning – the process of removing abundant ripe fruits from citrus trees – has become a familiar event for Arcadia residents. From January until March, many neighborhoods collect their excess oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits and tangerines and donate them to local food banks. 

The importance of gleaning was recognized after the discovery of roof rats in 2001. It prompted Arcadia’s Citrus Program, a group of volunteers who would come out and collect citrus from the surrounding neighborhoods. The program was suspended in 2015 after Asian citrus psyllid was found in fruits and trees in western Maricopa County. 

Today, folks can donate their citrus themselves or consider hiring someone* to pick and haul the fruit away. Donations should be clean fruits void of leaves, stems, decay, etc.

* This newspaper has tree and landscape advertisers to consider on pages 50-52. Arcadia News does not endorse or recommend one advertiser over another. Readers should do their own research and due diligence when hiring anyone for work.

citrus drop-offs 


5524 E. Lafayette Blvd., Phoenix

Partnering with St. Mary’s, Shepherd of the Hills will host Citrus Saturday drop-offs each Saturday in February. Folks can bring their citrus donations on February 5, 12

and 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


2831 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix

St. Mary’s will be accepting donations this year but will no longer be providing gleaning services. People can drop off their citrus at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. from January 10 through April 30.


2120 S. Third Dr., Phoenix. 

St. Vincent de Paul will be accepting donations from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Roof Rat info 

• The roof rat is dark brown or black and measures 13-18 inches, including the tail. They weigh 5-9 ounces and are slim, nearly hairless and have large ears. 

• Common signs of roof rat activity include hollowed-out fruits, damage to plastics on electrical wires and unsettled pets.  

• They are usually found around swimming pools, laundry rooms, attics, garages and patios. They spend 90 percent of their lives four feet or more off the ground.  

• Roof rats nest outside in trees, woodpiles and dense vegetation like oleander bushes. Inside, roof rats prefer to nest in the upper levels of a structure in the attic and ceiling.  

For comprehensive information and tips about preventative measures in Arcadia, visit