To say that citrus fruit is versatile is to understate just how much of a part of our lives citrus trees have become. They supply fruit juice that can be used in the most creative of cocktails – or just that twist of orange peel for a finishing touch. The fruit tree is a source of healthy drinks at breakfast (or a key ingredient in smoothies), and they are found in salads – or just a healthy snack (citrus is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants).
The trees themselves boast sweet-smelling flowers and boast attractive deep green, shiny leaves. So citrus trees tick all the right boxes from delicious, health-giving fruit to wonderful aesthetics.
Citrus trees are generally sub-tropical plants. They originate from southeast Asia and are generally not suitable for cultivation in regions where the temperature falls sharply during the winter months, however, there are exceptions as a tree service will tell you. Many people search for evergreen citrus plants that will remain attractive even during winter. Sour orange, sweet and navel oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit trees can withstand the cold and can even tolerate temperatures as low as 20ºF.
But how do you choose which citrus tree is right for your garden? Making a choice can be a daunting task, but to make it that little bit easier here are four citrus trees that are popular with gardeners – and lovers of citrus fruit.
1. The Meyer Lemon
This variety of lemon tree produces copious amounts of fruit. The fruit is small and tremendously juicy – and not nearly as acidic as other varieties of lemon. They’ll be at their best in Autumn and are incredible for baking, and making the most delicious homemade lemon juice. Some people also pickle or preserve the fruit, which makes it a great accompaniment for seafood dishes, or even served with olives.
2. Blood Orange Trees
This citrus tree is tremendously striking with its pointed leaves on each branch. Their scent is wonderful during the summer months when they are in bloom. The fruit is ready for harvest in the Autumn and the red flesh makes a striking addition to desserts such as the summer fruit salad. Of course, they are a delight to simply eat on their own.
3. Ruby Grapefruit Trees
These citrus trees are marvelous for shady gardens because they will happily tolerate partial sunshine conditions. The bright green leaves also make them tremendously attractive. The taste of the fruit is something like a cross between a standard grapefruit and the sweeter mandarine. this makes them the ideal breakfast fruit, even for those who may find the sourness of many grapefruits too overwhelming.
4. Kaffir Lime Trees
This citrus tree is one of the more diminutive in the family. The trees/shrubs reach maturity at around one meter (about 3.3 feet) – so they are the perfect choice for smaller gardens. Their fragrant blooms are at their best during summer. They are also unusual in that the leaves grow from the tip of the older leaves. These leaves are incredibly fragrant and are used in a variety of dishes and as an essential ingredient in curry paste. The fruit is also used in many dishes on the sub-continent.
Your search for evergreen citrus trees will inevitably (excuse the pun) bear fruit due to the many choices available. With correct care and attention to your trees and the occasional call to your neighborhood tree service in Tustin, CA, you will soon be enjoying the wonders of citrus.