Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees

 Oranges And Lemons

Orange and Lemon trees produce such an important crop that they are grown Worldwide with many varieties having been developed over the millennia that they have been under cultivation. Citrus Sinensis and Citrus Limon are of course the common variations with both of them growing up to 10 Metres and having leathery, glossy, green leaves. The shiny appearance of the leaves, is in part, due to numerous oil glands dotted about them. Lemons tend to have a longer flowering time than Oranges, but both produce fragrant white flowers that belie the fact that these trees do have an occasional spiteful thorn hidden in their branches to catch the unwary.

The Limon and bitter Seville Orange – Aurantium are said to be almost hardy by certain retailers in the UK, but in the small print it can often be found to say that they will need frost protection. However, it has to be admitted that as the tree grows and branches/trunk thickens it will withstand colder weather as long as it is in a sheltered, South facing, well drained, position. A good wrapping of horticultural fleece over the winter may be enough to help it survive outside.

Apart from warmth over winter the citrus family are relatively easy to care for. One problem that does occur frequently and causes a yellowing of the leaves is a deficiency of Magnesium that can be cured simply by watering with a solution of Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) made up from crystals bought from any high street chemist. Also for pot grown plants to fruit successfully the “Wood” needs to “Ripen” by leaving the plat outside in the sun to bake as much as possible in the Summer.

Many pot grown Orange and Lemon trees are sold in garden centres in the UK these days occasionally along with other members of the Citrus family such as Grapefruits and Limes. Usually these specimens have small fruit already on them, but some will have larger fruit of a size fit for eating. Such plants do not come cheap and are slow growing, but re-potted in large tubs they make ideal showpieces for placing on the patio for the Summer months where visitors can relax and succumb to the heady perfume from their white blossom.

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