The Lemon Tree
The lemon tree is a lovely evergreen tree. It truly is a captivating tree with widespread irregular branches.
The lemon tree can grow to be around 6 meters (20 feet tall). There are shorter varieties and even dwarf lemon trees grown in containers.
Trees that grown in orchards will need some space due to their extensive branches and are grown around 6 meters apart all depending on the tree variety. There are about 50 different varieties of lemons.
The lemon tree can under the right conditions and if allowed reach the age of 80 years. Most lemon farmers will either replace or cut back the lemon tree when it attains maturity at about 12 – 15 years of age.
All lemon trees need excellent drainage. Lemon trees need to be protected from frost and wind.
The flowers of the lemon trees may die if they are exposed to temperatures below 1°C / 29°F. Lemon trees thrive best in coastal areas where the winter temperatures are not as harsh as in inland regions.
The flowers have five pedals and are white on the inside and a kind of pinkish purple on the outside.
Lemon trees will produce fruit when they are about three years old. The tree will grow lemons all year long. An average lemon tree can produce up to 1500 lemons a year. This is something you want to consider if you plan on several lemon trees on your property.
Lemons need to be handpicked during dry weather. The lovely lemons are easily bruised and should be handled with tender loving care.
Commercially sold lemons are coated with a fungicide and waxed. For this reason it is of utmost importance to wash your lemons thoroughly before using them. It would obviously be better alternative to grow your own lemons or buy organic lemons.
The wood from the lemon tree is excellent wood for carving. The lemon tree wood is frequently used to carve small items such as toys and figures for the chess board game.
As mentioned earlier there are around 50 different lemon varieties. Here are a few of the most commonly grown lemon varieties:
The Eureka lemon tree is nearly without thorns, unlike the Lisbon lemon tree. This is a tree with widespread branches. It will grow fruit all year long.
This is a very common lemon grown in large quantities in Australia, Spain, Israel and America. The Eureka lemon is one of the most frequently sold lemons. Another very common lemon is the Lisbon lemon.
The Lisbon lemon trees are very thorny and grow to be very large. This tree grows more upright. The Lisbon lemon tree is a very productive tree.
Variegated Pink Eureka
This lemon tree has green leaves marked with white patches. The Variegated Pink Eureka has less juice than ordinary lemons. The flesh is pink and this is the reason this lemon is simply also known as just “the pink lemonade”.
Even though the flesh is pink the juice has a light color. As this lemon grows and matures it shows green stripes on the yellow rind.
The Meyer Lemon tree is a very popular container tree and is also grown as hedges. It will bear fruit throughout the year.
It is actually not a true lemon. The tree is a natural hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin or orange.
It is sweeter than the true lemon and the color of the Meyer lemons tends to be closer to orange. The Meyer lemons are much larger than the true lemons.
The Meyer lemons are especially great to use in desserts. These particular lemon hybrids were discovered not far from Beijing in China in 1908 by Frank Meyer in 1908. When they were introduced to the United States they were naturally named after the man who introduced this superb fruit to the Americans.
The Femminello lemon tree is the most common in Italy. The tree does not have especially many thorns. The tree will produce lemons throughout the year.
The Italians have different names for the Femminello lemon depending on what season it has been harvested. The spring and summer lemons are less sour than the autumn and winter harvested lemons.
The Yen Ben lemon trees resemble the Lisbon lemon. The Yen Ben has a thin and smooth rind. It is popularly grown in New Zealand.
Another lemon that resembles the Lisbon lemon is the Bearss lemon. This lemon tree grew originally in Sicily, Italy.
This lemon is especially valuable for extracting lemon oil from the rind.
The Bearss lemons make up about 1/5 of the lemon production in Brazil.
The Ponderosa lemon tree has lots of thorns and large leaves. This is the giant in the world of lemons. Ponderosa lemons are the size of grapefruits.
Actually the Ponderosa is not a true lemon. It is a hybrid of lemon and citrus.
The Ponderosa tree will grow well in containers or as a hedge tree.
The lemon has lots of seeds and a thick rind. The rind tends to be uneven and bumpy.
As other lemon trees it needs to be protected from frost.