Summer Holds Out in One Tree in LA

lemonscloseup2.JPGDriving through a back alley in the Valley last night, I came across a sprawling tree, its branches swaying in the wind, ghostly in the moonlight, heavy with pale, glowing fruit. I resolved to come back in the morning and take a photo. The tree has more fruit than leaves, and someone’s valiantly attempting to pick them–a ladder has been pulled up underneath the lowermost branches–but the owner can’t possibly hope to harvest them all from the short ladder.

Point of interest: this humble little house with its unabashedly prolific tree faces the alley, with no entrance or frontage on the main streets. Seems like a modest little home of this sort getting such a glorious tree in its yard is a form of nature’s justice. When I stopped to take the pics this morning the only activity in the cold alley was a manic chihuahua running amok, approx. 30 yards south, with a teenager chasing it around, trying to corral it back into a yard.

I know, you’ve all seen lemon trees before, but this one was just so jawdroppingly lovely I had to pull an “ICME“.

More pics behind the jump. Now, I wonder, can anyone estimate the number of lemons? It looks like there’s about 4.3 per square foot, but I can’t quite guesstimate how many square feet are in the tree. Bonus points for then figuring how many lemon meringue pies the whole tree could produce.

Click to embiggen, I made ’em pretty big to catch the details of the yard.


7 thoughts on “Summer Holds Out in One Tree in LA”

  1. Citrus. The total California thing one must do when you are ready to cross the line and be a local. I planted 2 grapefruit seeds 15 years ago. They now produce enough fruit to supply a small grocery store.
    One Orange. One Meyer Lemon. I will have over 200 lemons in a few weeks. Limoncello anyone? I make a wicked batch from scratch.

    Thanks for sharing. It is so nice to see these little remnants of our agricultural heritage tucked about.

  2. Wow! I wasn’t expecting that tree to be so huge! Very cool.

    And if there is just one LM Pie, I would like a slice please.

  3. Darleene: You have yet to see my ever-struggling dwarf Meyer tree. 2 years in and still no fruit. Lots of blossoms that inevitably turn into tiny little fruitlings that break everybody’s hearts by falling off by the time they’re the size of lemon drops (the candy, not the drink).

  4. Fruit density is not even across the tree, so I’m going to estimate an average of 3.7 lemons per cubic foot. And that’s an…8 foot ladder? Very roughly estimating the branches to be a sphere with a radius of 9 feet, you get 972 x pi (hehe), or approximately 3054 cubic feet. Multiply that by 3.7, and you get ~11298 lemons. Using two lemons per pie, you can make ~5649 pies. :/

    How many points do I get, and when do I get to redeem them?

  5. Holy crap, Hooks, that’s effing amazing. I’d say you get as many points as there are slices of pie: so, at eight slices, that’s 45192 points. Yum!

  6. that’s awesome!

    i spent my weekend trying to pick all the tangerines from my parents’ tree for some fresh juice. definitely one of the upsides to living in LA.

Comments are closed.