What would you choose - Lisbon or Eureka lemon?

ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)September 28, 2009

I am planning on buying a new lemon tree - my choice is either a Lisbon or Eureka lemon tree on a dwarf rootstock - because it will be planted in front of a window. I already have a dwarf Meyer. The reason for these 2 choices are - I want a "true" lemon, prolific producer and year round fruit. Please help me decide - I would love to hear your choice and why you chose it. Thanks.

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Lisbon lemons are slightly smaller than Eurekas and have a noticeably thicker skin that is smoother (making it nicer for zesting). I think Lisbon lemons are juicier and, overall, less seedy (but that depends on the exact clone of "Lisbon" versus "Eureka"). The Lisbon tree has more thorns than the Eureka.

Also, fyi, 'Meyer' isn't a true lemon and it will produce well everywhere. Eureka and Lisbon will produce lots of fruits everywhere but they develop thick, somewhat bitter skins in cool climates (such as SWGB Zones 15, 16, 17; maybe where you are) and the flesh doesn't sweeten up as well with cool summers, cool winters. Have you tasted fruit off of a true lemon tree in your neighborhood?


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 11:02AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I'd also caution you to consider that either of these lemons on dwarf root stalk will still be much larger growing than Dwarf Meyer, and will completely block your view from the window,(they easily get 15 feet tall by across), so if that is what you want, go ahead. Eureka lemons do work here in coastal influenced Berkeley,(Sunset zones 16/17), but also have the thicker skins. I don't think I have ever eaten a Lisbon lemon locally.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 11:52AM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

thanks for your help. I talked to 2 neighbors on my street - they both have Eureka and the lemon is like the one from the grocery store in taste. And, I am unable to find someone with a Lisbon in my neighborhood. But, some nurseries here carry them. The tag says "true dwarf" for both Eureka and Lisbon trees - what does that mean?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 4:18PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Dwarf is a relative term for both the Eureka and Lisbon lemon, and the size I mentioned is what either wants to grow to be if you don't constantly prune them. If you intend to keep any sort of a view or light coming in through this window, neither choice is a good candidate for your spot, although a dwarf Meyer lemon is more manageably kept at a 5 to 6 foot height as it is a much more compact grower.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Dwarf is a relative term and varies with the grower. Those grown by Four Winds are on flying dragon rootstock and are easy to keep as a "true dwarf". Those by other growers on different stock can easily grow to 15 feet, and a lemon that has to kept "dwarf" by pruning can result in most of the fruit being eliminated. Been there/done that. Al

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 10:02AM
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jim123(z9 or z10 CA)

Although the fruit is about the same between the two trees, the growth habit of the trees are very different. Lisbon is very vigorous and will almost always be a bigger and denser tree. It is also a heavy bearer. Eureka is not as vigorous. It needs closer care. It seems to have trouble getting nutrients from the soil, as the leaves tend to be lighter green and show signs of nutrient deficiencies even when grow adjacent to Lisbon.

In short, Lisbon tends to be rambunctious and needs care to keep it under control, and Eureka tends to be more delicate and needs care to keep it healthy.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:39PM
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