United States Edition

Lemon tree: only one fruit, but the tree lives!

Friday, 23 Sep 11 Cloudy 13°C / 55°F

  • 14
  • Very Happy

I can confidently say that the lemon tree has survived!

It was an opportunistic rescue from a car park project that was performed in the heat of summer and with no chance to plan or organize. It’s recovered well, even if it did take 18 months to be sure.

It has one fruit on it and judging purely by appearances I’ll punt on it being a Lisbon or Eureka. (opinions welcomed)
It has vicious spikes on the new growth (tuck those elbows in says flowerweaver). The young leaves are a red colour on emergence and the fruit has that distinctive ‘pip’ on the end, all with rough dimpled skin. My mouth puckers as I try and describe it, so it must be one of the really high acid types! :-)


  1. Blurry side shot of the sole lemon
  2. End on of the same
  3. The tree as it is now
  4. (older photo) The tree 10 minutes after it had been unceremoniously uprooted (the rags had been moistened prior to placing over the exposed roots.)
  5. (older photo) The way all trees should be transported? Laying flat on a trailer with virtually no rootball to speak of, certainly there were only a handful of feeder roots.


This entry is about

Day 593

Lemon tree

Citrus x limon


1 fruit – just one!

Central East garden


  • TeresaGreen

    TeresaGreen wrote:

    Wow, the tree’s looking very healthy, and a proper sized lemon too, pretty impressive given what it’s had to go through this year. Good description too, I’m sure someone will be able to id it for you, though not me.

    Posted on 23 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • Russell

    Russell wrote:

    Sounds like a nice save. Would love to have lots of citrus here, but as I’ve said before, we’ve failed miserably though. I’ not sure they’ll like the conditions here, as this year we had heaps of Frost.

    From what i know, I’d say it’s a Eureka. Lisbon’s are smoother than Eureka’s, don’t have a neck where the stem is. When you cut it, see if it’s skin is thick, and if it’s got plenty of seeds, then I think that would confirm Eureka.

    Posted on 23 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • flowerweaver

    flowerweaver wrote:

    I remember when you rescued the tree, and by the looks of that lemon it was a success! That tree was fortunate not to end up in the rubbish heap, and will provide for you in turn. Do keep those elbows in!

    Posted on 23 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • AnneTanne

    AnneTanne wrote:

    Reading this journal made me smile…
    Rescuing a tree is so beautiful!

    Posted on 23 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • travin

    travin wrote:

    Can’t give up on a citrus tree. They truly are a gift. It will surely repay you. And yep, on the thorns advice. Citrus punctures are so painful and irritated. I’ll take a dozen rose thorns over one healthy citrus one, any day of the week.

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • Dogs

    Dogs wrote:

    You have inspired me graibeard to perservere with the lemmon tree I have been struggling with of late. Thanks

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • rainymountain

    rainymountain wrote:

    Glad to see your lemon tree looking so good, and a lemon too! Way to go.

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • greyslate

    greyslate wrote:

    Congratulations! Sure is looking a lot happier now, then when it first arrived. So glad you rescued it.

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • LillyPilly

    LillyPilly wrote:

    Nice save! Hard to believe it is the same tree in the before and after shots.

    I’ve had two Eurekas and neither had many thorns (a significant reason behind their selection!) Maybe a difference in where they are grown?

    This is a great citrus site that might help you narrow down the variety: http://users.kymp.net/citruspages/lemons.html

    Lisbon and Eureka fruit are described as being fairly similar, but Lisbon holds the fruit within the tree, better protected. There is also a slight difference in the colour of the buds. I guess when you have a tree full of fruit it may be more obvious.

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • graibeard

    graibeard wrote:

    @LillyPilly, That is one excellent reference site, outstanding in fact.

    Going by Russells and your comments, I suspect that it may be a Eureka. The thorns that are there appear mostly on the newer growth, of which there is a lot here. A quick read of that site also throws out the hint of the flowers being tinged with pink and I recall that may be the case – no photos to help a vague-ish memory though. When this fruit is ripe I’ll take slices and photos.

    @Dogs, Sounds like a challenge so I went and checked on yours. It certainly doesn’t look to good and the yellowing leaves suggest something is amiss. I’m certainly no expert on them but excess water (permanently wet) and too much soil / mulch around the trunk can be problems? Looks like yours needs a good feed (just enough, not too much though?)

    @All, It was certainly worth the effort, and there is nothing like the feeling of success – especially when the odds are against it. It may not have been an instant tree, but it’s sure cut down on the wait and the experience is of course, invaluable. A gift describes it well.

    Posted on 24 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • cristina

    cristina wrote:

    I love the happy ending stories! Thank you, greibeard :)

    Posted on 25 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • SneIrish

    SneIrish wrote:

    Congrats! Nice job, well done. A rescue well worth the effort, as I’m sure the tree agrees.

    Posted on 25 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • CDfolia

    CDfolia wrote:

    A great rescue, all hail the lone lemon!

    Posted on 26 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • eakspeasy

    eakspeasy wrote:

    Great story! I’m glad it turned out well for this tree and thank you for rescuing it!

    Posted on 30 Sep 11 (over 3 years ago)

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