why does my outdoor lemon tree have thorns on it?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by cagreene, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. cagreene

    cagreene Active Member

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    I have been growing a bonsai lemon tree from a seed that i found already germinated inside a lemon. as we rarely get cold weather here, it spends the entire year outdoors. Last year i had noticed the tree has developed thorns that are about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch long on its older branches. now the thorns are present on the new growth as well. I am wondering if this is normal for a 7-8 year old tree. It has yet to flower, and I am told it may take years, IF it ever flowers. can anyone give me some pointers on lemon trees, and are these thorns normal?
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    As I understand it, hybrid lemons, such as those purchased at commercial nurseries, are bred to be thornless. However, a plant grown from seed can revert back to its wild thorny state.

    Pretty cool to have found this seed already germinated inside the lemon! My congratulations to you on keeping this plant well for a good long time, and for having the inspiration to make a bonsai of it.

    Would enjoy seeing a photo!
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    A common store lemon would be of the Lisbon or Eureka variety. I didn't expect such a lemon would survive our winters outdoors, mild as they may be. Perhaps you have a very favorable micro-climate.

    The thorniness of a juvenile seedling tree will lessen as the tree matures. According to the node count hypothesis a tree will mature and begin to bloom once it has developed a set number of nodes. Therefore pruning will delay maturation and is to be avoided.
     
  4. cagreene

    cagreene Active Member

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    Although the lemon tree is an evergreen, the leaves are quite sparse in the winter months. there is tons of new growth present,so it wont be long before I can take the bamboo ties off and post some nice pictures. Thank you to all for your replies. I had started a braided lemon tree 20 years ago from seed and had to leave it with my sister-in-law when we moved to B.C. last I heard it was producing yummy lemons years ago, and was an indoor show piece.
     

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