I can't identify this citrus tree

oats2010September 13, 2010

I bought a house in May and it has a unknown citrus tree in the backyard. I cannot ask the previous owners what tree it is because it was a foreclosure. I do know they planted it themselves and it was 2 feet tall in pictures from their attempts to sell the house 3.5 years ago.

I have tried looking stuff up on the net and to figure out what it is by smell, shape, etc. I am unsure what it is.

It has the shape of a lime tree (I think), it smells like a lime or possible lemon by going by the leaf, the bark does smell like a lime or lemon. It's strong in smell, but so are lemon trees that I tested too. It is about 6 feet tall at the highest and has an odd shape. It has thorns that are about 1 inch long. The leaves are yellowish green and have jagged edges, but aren't sharp. The biggest leaves are 3.5 inches long. I would estimate this tree to be about 5-6 years old.

It hasn't had any flowers or fruit at all.

PICTURES (sorry don't know how to add pictures or proper links):




Some more questions:

How can I tell if it is a dwarf tree or not? If it is 5-6 years old would it be taller than 5-6 feet if it were not a dwarf? It has not flowered at all since March of this year, why when it is around 5-6 years old? It is kind of yellowish green in color, not dark green like my new citrus trees. I have been watering it more and recently gave it citrus fertilizer in hopes to make it more healthy. It has grown about 1 foot in height since I started watering it this summer. Any ideas on how to make it flower for next year?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Here are the pictures!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 4:02AM
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Considering the substantial thorns, I suspect it is a still-juvenile seedling. Could be a lemon or some sort of lime, although certainly not Bearrs/Tahiti/Persian lime and certainly not orange or grapefruit, and not likely a mandarin. When it puts out a new growth flush, are the tiny new leaves pale green (not a true lemon) or are they purplish in color (lemon group)?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 6:50AM
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Thank you for your response. I checked the new leaves and they are a yellowish-green color, definitely not purple.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 1:20AM
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What you need to do is show us a close-up photo of the base of the tree. There are clearly several shoots, and I think I can just make out the original trunk and where major root-stock shoots have taken over. If the original variety is still alive, you may be able to find a small central growth with different leaves - all the side growths can then be cut off as low down as possible to encourage the remaining piece of the original variety to grow stronger.

Alternatively, as MM says, this simply could be a seedling.
Possibly Rough Lemon, or even some type of Citron.
Seedling trees often take more than 6 years to fruit.

There is no such thing as a dwarf citrus in its own right! What makes a dwarf citrus is the variety of rootstock which it is grafted on to.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 12:33PM
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While I'm not an expert on the exotics, it sure looks like a Eureka Lemon to me... at least it bears a close resemblence to the Eureka in my backyard.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 11:56PM
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