Re: [gardeners] Lemon Trees/Meyer

George Shirley (
Sun, 13 Oct 2002 19:07:21 -0500

Everything I've read on the Ponderosa says it is most likely a natural
sport and not a true lemon as Olin says. Still, for my climate and soil
it does a jam up job. Somewhere around here I've got a digital photo of
me holding up two large Ponderosa lemons and they're about half the size
of my 7 1/2 hat size head. <VBG>


olin wrote:
> The old Meyer lemons I have seen are kind of round and look like they might
> be a cross between an orange and a lemon.  I understand CA allows only the
> Improved Meyer but AZ still prohibits both.
> Our lemon tree is Lisbon, a vicious, thorny, prolific tree that needs to be
> cut back every few years.  We get enough lemons from it for us, for several
> families of snowbird relatives, and still have quite a bit left over to haul
> to the food bank.
> People here tend to use he terms Ponderosa and Rough Lemon interchangeably
> but there is a difference.  The fruit looks similar - large, seedy and
> bumpy..  But the Ponderosa is a smaller, thorny tree and is not a true
> lemon.  Rough lemon is a larger lemon-sized tree and was used as a
> rootstock, primarily in the Zone 10 region around Yuma.  It was pretty
> common 35 years ago when suckers were allowed to grow below the bud union
> but it is now pretty rare.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "George Shirley" <>
> > Yeah, the CTV was the reason the Meyer Lemon was completely changed. As
> > I said earlier the original ones were round and orange in color, looked
> > nothing like a lemon at all but were very sour. I was totally amazed a
> > couple of years ago when people started telling me I was crazy, the
> > Meyer was yellow, looked like a lemon, etc. Looked them up and read the
> > story as to why the Meyer was changed so completely. Reckon Arizona
> > hasn't gotten around to certifying the "new" Meyer as yet but Florida
> > and some other citrus states allow them no as I understand.
> >
> > I grow the Ponderosa lemon myself, much harder here in SW Louisiana and
> > only gets bitten back by frost about every 5 to 6 years, particularly if
> > I forget to cover it. Have harvested lemons up to 3 lbs from the thing
> > and 2 lbs is common. It's not very attractive, grows sort of sprangly
> > but sure is productive.
> > Thanks for the cites, very informative.