A lot of the people we come into contact with are from out of state or out of the country. They have never been to Tucson or a desert before. They have an idea in their head what to expect but always seem to be a little dumbfounded that we have citrus trees in Tucson.
This is an actual photo of a grapefruit in the wild. I was able to get close enough not to spook it into hiding higher up in the tree. It is one of the few citrus fruits that have some which are ripe.
Of course everyone thinks of citrus as coming from Florida or California or other states known for citrus. There are citrus trees all over Tucson and many people grow their own fruit in the backyard. Below is a picture of a grapefruit that has been domesticated sitting on a fence in the shade staying cool. He is of the Ruby Red Tribe of Grapefruit.
What we don’t have in Tucson are citrus groves. There is no citrus industry here. The closest thing to it are pecan groves up I-10 toward Picacho just up the road from Marana. There are a lot of pecan groves up that way and it is always fun to see lots of trees with leaves instead of cactus with thorns as we make the drive up to Phoenix and pass the pecan groves.
But this post is about citrus fruit trees, not nuts. I’ll talk about nuts some other time when we get closer to the time to make Christmas danish and sprinkle on pecans with melted powder sugar glaze. Um. . . All right I have to stop there, I’m making myself hungry.
- Lemon Trees
- Orange Trees
- Lime Trees
- Ruby Red Grapefruit Trees
- Regular grapefruit trees (whatever a regular grapefruit is)
- Tangelo trees
- Tangerine Trees
- Pomegranate Trees (I don’t think those are citrus, but we have them)
- Dwarf Peach Trees (again, not citrus but you get the idea)
- Kumquat Trees (I almost forgot kumquats)
- Limequat Trees (yes Limequat)
That’s a pretty big list of trees. We often find homes that have a variety of these fruit trees in their backyards. It is not uncommon at certain times of the year to find boxes and baskets of fruit in church foyers on any given Sunday morning when the fruit is in season.
Now I’m not saying getting free fruit is a good reason for going to church. . .
You can also make friends with neighbors who have fruit trees and plant some of your own which are always welcome when it comes time to sell your house. There have even been lawsuits over the fruit being removed from fruit trees during a transaction. People really like productive fruit trees.
Most citrus in Tucson comes ripe around Christmas time. Some earlier some later. Duh! I’m not kidding. I don’t have any pictures of lemons since we were hit with a very hard freeze last January we might not have any lemons this year on some trees hit the hardest.
But if I did have a picture of a lemon tree with lemons they would be green and not yellow. Just like the Oranges are green not orange and the Tangerines are green not orange, orange the color not orange the fruit. Tangerines don’t ripen into Oranges they ripen into Tangerines. They are not like Grapes that become raisins or Plums that become prunes. Are you confused yet?
Remember if you see a box around the picture you can click on it and see a larger version and a caption under each picture.
Yep, Tucson has fruit trees, most citrus, but not always. There is no citrus industry as such, but we can grow some mighty fine lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit right in our own backyards.