Questions about lumpy lemons on my tree

noobgardener2010April 1, 2010

I have moved into a new place recently. As the home was on the market for a few months, being flipped, I assume only basic watering was done.

There is a ~15' tall lemon tree in the backyard. It has tons of lemons, decent sized, lots of flowers now too. The tree looks generally healthy.

The lemons however have this strange lumpy look to them, practically all of them. I've linked a picture showing a sample of the two types of lemons on this tree. The lumpy one is on the left. The other one is an orange-ish looking lemon this tree is also, to a much lesser extent, producing. There is an orange tree approximately 10' away, could it be affecting this lemon tree?

What does this mean? Do I need to feed the tree some kind of plant food, I'm assuming yes since I doubt it's been fed in a long time(if ever). Is it a sign of not enough water? Or is it diseased? Most importantly, what do I need to do to square things away? Thanks for any help.

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I don't really know what it is, but if I had to guess it sounds like a grafted tree that was overtaken by a root-stock sucker. I'm sure someone else will be able to help you better.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 12:00AM
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Yes, you almost certainly have an orange tree, but the rootstock has been allowed to sprout and take over. The rootstock is rough lemon or perhaps citrumelo or citrange. Are the leaves different where the different fruits appear?
The nearby orange tree will not affect this in any way at all.
You could cut away all the rootstock growth which will originate low down beneath the original graft point, but it doesn't sound as if you'll have much left!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 7:29AM
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Thanks for telling me what to look for.

Yes, there is a scar down low(about 3" above ground) on the main trunk. Then the trunk splits into a v shape. One thick branch is the orange section. The other one splits yet again, and those two form the vast majority of the tree.

The orange section is mostly small on one side, maybe 2' by 2'. However one large branch stretches across into the lemon section and has the majority of the oranges. It's maybe a 6' by 4' section.

So while I'd lose the vast majority of the tree, it won't be totally bare. I think I might go for it. I plan to live here for a while, so I might as well make things look the way I want. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:17AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

My Eureka lemon used to have occasional thick & lumpy skinned fruit (outdoors in SoCal.) As I recall, it was a cultural thing.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 1:44AM
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