Meyer vs Improved-Meyer lemon

mg999April 1, 2009

I live in San Jose, California. I just bought a (not-improved) Meyer lemon tree. The nursery had "Improved Meyer" too but, the fruit on the Meyer tree seemed rounder and with thin-skin.

Someone mentioned on this forum that "old Meyer" should not be sold in US. Which lemon should I plant? I can exchange it now. Thanks!


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I don't believe the "not improved" form would be available for sale in California. The only difference is the presence or absence of citrus tristeza virus infection. It causes no symptoms at all in the 'Meyer', so the two look and act exactly alike. The problem is that the virus can spread from an infected tree to oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus nearby (spread by aphids) if you have an infected tree. I suspect your nursery bought their trees from two sources, one of which used the term "improved" while the other did not. It used to be, and I assume still is, illegal to sell the infected form in California.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:35PM
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Thanks for your response.

I bought the tree from a very well-known nursery (Garden Supply, Los Altos, CA). I am sure they will not sell anything illegal.

Also, I noticed some discrepancies in the information on the tag (attached to the tree) and the label (pasted on the pot). The tag reads "Meyer Lemon, 10-16 ft". The label reads "Improved Meyer Lemon, 16-20 ft". Since, I do not have a place for a big tree, I may exchange it with a dwarf tree. Is the fruit on the dwarf tree same (in size and taste) as the regular tree?

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:28PM
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I live in Walnut Creek. I do have a container plant which restricts the size. However, the label from 4 Winds was True Dwarf Citrus (Improved Meyer Lemon) - 6-10 ft at maturity.
I am not an expert with citrus, but have found the lemon size will vary with the age and care of the individual plants.
Even with the container restriction, I have not noticed a hugh size difference between our very brief selection for store bought Meyer lemons.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:28PM
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