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Lemon

LemonLemon Trees

The origins of the lemon are a bit of a mystery with some sources suggesting that India was its first home. It arrived in North America from Europe where it has been cultivated for many hundreds of years. Lemon trees generally reach a height of between 20 and 30 feet at maturity. Like many other members of the citrus family lemon twigs are often thorny. The leaves are elliptical in shape with fine teeth, dark green on the upper surface and lighter green on the underside. Flowers are white with purplish undersides. The fruit of the lemon tree, technically a berry (hesperidium), has a yellow peel and ranges in length from 2 3/4 to 4 3/4 inches long. Seed content depends on the variety with some, such as Armstrong, being classified as seedless. Unfortunately for tree growers in northern Florida, gulf states such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, and other regions which experience freezes occasionally during winter, the lemon, along with the grapefruit, is one of the most cold-sensitive of the citruses. If you do live in a marginal citrus growing area but would still like to try planting a lemon tree, some varieties like the 'Harvey' are more cold tolerant than others. One of the great advantages of the lemon is that it will grow in relatively poor soil. In Florida, for instance, commercial lemon groves are mostly on sand. Consult a local tree care specialist for advice on the variety of lemon most appropriate for your climate and region.