Lemon Scion Research Summarized

Josh McGillCalifornia Corner, lemons, Varieties

An assortment of lemon scions producing fresh market fruit performed differently for yield and other qualities in three California locations.

Lemon
Photo by Daniel Hooper on Unsplash

Glenn Wright, University of Arizona associate professor and Extension specialist for tree crops, provided the comparative results from the three locations in a June 20 webinar. All results are through the 2020–21 season.

SANTA PAULA
The Santa Paula location, with a warm summer Mediterranean-like climate, had the following results:

  • Walker Lisbon had the greatest cumulative yield, followed closely by Limoneira 8A, Limoneira 8A IR-1, Fino 49 and Corona Foothills. The differences were not large.
  • Corona Foothills and Fino 49 mature primarily in the fall and winter, while Limoneira 8A has more mature fruit in the winter and spring. Fruit size of Corona Foothills and Fino 49 were consistently larger than the others. Fruit of Walker Lisbon were slightly smaller.
  • Macrophylla was the best rootstock for all the scions, except for Fino 49 which performed best on Swingle.
  • Trees on Carrizo rootstock performed the worst, regardless of scion.
  • Yields of seedless Limoneira 8A IR-1 were typically 85% to 90% of the yields of Limoneira 8A. Fruit of Limoneira 8A IR-1 were slightly larger than those of Limoneira 8A.

LINDCOVE
Research in Lindcove’s hot summer Mediterranean-like climate provided these results:

  • Walker Lisbon had the greatest cumulative yield, followed closely by Limoneira 8A, Corona Foothills, Fino 49 and Limoneira 8A IR-1.
  • Fruit size of Limoneira 8A IR-1 was usually larger than the others. Corona Foothills, Fino 49 and Limoneira 8A were similar. Fruit of Walker Lisbon were slightly smaller. Yen Ben trees had the smallest fruit size.
  • C-35 and Rich 16-6 were slightly better rootstocks for all the scions, except for Fino 49 which performed best on Carrizo, and Yen Ben which was only still living on C-35.
  • Yields of Limoneira 8A IR-1 were typically 75% of the yields of Limoneira 8A.
  • Interior fruit quality of all the scions was similar, except for fruit seediness with Limoneira 8A IR-1 having less than two seeds per fruit and all others having six to 12 seeds.

THERMAL
The Thermal location, with a hot desert climate, had the following results:

  • Corona Foothills had the greatest cumulative yield, followed closely by Fino 49 and Walker Lisbon. Limoneira 8A and Limoneira 8A IR-1 trailed.
  • Macrophylla was clearly the best rootstock for all the scions, especially for Fino 49. The next best rootstock was Volkameriana. All scions performed poorly on Carrizo.
  • Fruit size of Limoneira 8A IR-1 was usually larger than the others. Corona Foothills, Fino 49 and Limoneira 8A were similar. Fruit of Walker Lisbon were slightly smaller than the others. Ben Yen trees had the smallest fruit size.
  • Yields of seedless Limoneira 8A IR-1 were typically 60% to 70% of the yields of Limoneira 8A.
  • Limoneira 8A IR-1 had less than three seeds per fruit, Yen Ben had five seeds per fruit, and all others had 11 to 13 seeds.

Wright’s lemon presentation was part of the Citrus Research Board of California’s 2023 Citrus Growers Educational Webinar Series

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large

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