When do lemon trees produce fruit?

Updated April 17, 2017

Lemon trees are citrus trees that produce an acidic, bright-yellow fruit. Lemons are used as garnishments and flavouring in cooking. Lemon trees may be grown from seeds or via a budding process. Most home lemon gardeners will start off with a container-grown lemon tree from the local nursery. The lemons may mature on the tree but should be picked while the crop is in season to prevent the fruit from drying out.


Lemon trees that grow via the seedling process will usually not mature to bearing fruit for a few years after planting. Trees begun with the budding process will produce fruit in the second to third year after planting. The amount of lemons the tree produces will increase as the lemon tree grows larger. Lemon trees can bear fruit year round, but the harvest may vary with the time of year depending on the type of lemon tree.


The Eureka lemon is a true lemon that originated in California. The Eureka lemon tree produces fruit in the spring and summer. This fruit is tart and acidic.


The Lisbon lemon is a true lemon that originated in Australia. The Lisbon lemon tree produces fruit in summer and fall. The Lisbon lemon is tart and acidic.

Meyer Lemon

The Meyer lemon is not a true lemon and may be a hybrid of a lemon and mandarin orange. This citrus tree produces a medium-sized, seedy fruit, which is considered similar to, but less acidic and sweeter, than a real lemon. It is in season from winter to early spring and is more cold tolerant than true lemon trees. It is also referred to as a valley lemon. The Meyer lemon originated in China.

Ponderosa Lemon

The Ponderosa lemon tree produces a large citrus fruit. The Ponderosa is also not considered a true lemon. It produces fruit in the fall to winter seasons and is more cold sensitive than a true lemon. The Ponderosa lemon fruit is large with a bumpy, thick, yellow skin.

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