Dwarf Lemon 🍋

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#1
Hello 👋

I collected this from a ladies yard. It grew under a bigger tree and never got enough light. I was told it’s at least 20 years old. It’s been in a bonsai pot less than a year
 

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#3
What makes this a “dwarf” lemon? Looks similar to my lemon, in terms of leaf size. Nice trunk, however it Will take some creativity to fix the nebari
Dwarf citrus normally refers to the growth habit of the tree and the maximum height. It does not impact fruit or leaf size. I have also found (in general) that dwarf varieties are less robust than their full-sized brethren (at least in landscape situations). The full-sized fruit make them difficult as bonsai subjects. If you want bonsai citrus, you could go in the direction of Mexican lime (fruit about the size of a pingpong ball), calamondin (fruit about the size of a large marble) or kinzu kumquat (fruit about the size of a pea).
 

JoeR

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#4
Dwarf citrus normally refers to the growth habit of the tree and the maximum height. It does not impact fruit or leaf size. I have also found (in general) that dwarf varieties are less robust than their full-sized brethren (at least in landscape situations). The full-sized fruit make them difficult as bonsai subjects. If you want bonsai citrus, you could go in the direction of Mexican lime (fruit about the size of a pingpong ball), calamondin (fruit about the size of a large marble) or kinzu kumquat (fruit about the size of a pea).
Calamondin take their time trunking up though, and Kinzu beyond just cuttings seem to be impossible to locate in the US. But both have great qualities for bonsai or just ornamental plants with edible fruit
 
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on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
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#5
@jonathanvperth - You found a nice start. That lemon is old enough that the bark has aged from bright green to a nice brown. This usually doesn't happen in just a few years. The leaves will get smaller as you work with this tree. More levels of ramification will reduce leaf size. (branching, when branches have branches that is ramification)

If it were mine, I would keep the trunk more or less at the angle it currently is, but I would plant it deeper in the pot. You want to bury more of those surface roots. The 2 roots that cross, like someone crossing their legs, I find to be unattractive. Pick one of those two roots to eliminate. Or plant the tree deep enough to hide them. While a bonsai is in development, you keep much of the nebari buried in order for new surface roots to grow and develop. It is only in very late stages of development that you expose more of the nebari.. But every time you repot, you do look at the nebari and eliminate crossing roots, and roots that are overly large compared to the rest of the roots.

So all in all a nice start. I think the nebari is the main problematic area this tree has and it can be corrected in just a few years. Your branches are a little long and straight, but wait until you ''get your photograph'' with ripe lemons, before working on the branch structure. Probably this summer. Once you start pruning for bonsai, it will take time off from blooming, because you'll end up pruning off the wood most likely to bloom. To get flowers you'll have to pick a year and let it grow out that year or two. Then go back to hard pruning.
 
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#6
@jonathanvperth - You found a nice start. That lemon is old enough that the bark has aged from bright green to a nice brown. This usually doesn't happen in just a few years. The leaves will get smaller as you work with this tree. More levels of ramification will reduce leaf size. (branching, when branches have branches that is ramification)

If it were mine, I would keep the trunk more or less at the angle it currently is, but I would plant it deeper in the pot. You want to bury more of those surface roots. The 2 roots that cross, like someone crossing their legs, I find to be unattractive. Pick one of those two roots to eliminate. Or plant the tree deep enough to hide them. While a bonsai is in development, you keep much of the nebari buried in order for new surface roots to grow and develop. It is only in very late stages of development that you expose more of the nebari.. But every time you repot, you do look at the nebari and eliminate crossing roots, and roots that are overly large compared to the rest of the roots.

So all in all a nice start. I think the nebari is the main problematic area this tree has and it can be corrected in just a few years. Your branches are a little long and straight, but wait until you ''get your photograph'' with ripe lemons, before working on the branch structure. Probably this summer. Once you start pruning for bonsai, it will take time off from blooming, because you'll end up pruning off the wood most likely to bloom. To get flowers you'll have to pick a year and let it grow out that year or two. Then go back to hard pruning.

Hi Leo

Thanks so much for the good advice

I really haven’t thought too far in the future yet, but these roots do need a tidy up. And yes I am very much looking forward to some yellow lemons to photograph lol 😂
 

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