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Lemon culture in California has not most wholly unknown or disregarded; kept pace with orange culture. For this that the fruit has reached the consignee two reasons are assignable:
many times in a rotten or semi-rotten 1st. The territory adapted to the grow- condition, and that when presented at its ing of lemons is much restricted.
very best it is a third or fourth class arti2d. The lemons mostly grown have cle; when we consider all these points we been inferior, and the demand and com- need not wonder that our lemon trade is pensation correspondingly small.
in the doldrums. These obstacles are by no means insur- The remedy for this condition of things mountable. Now that the suitable condi. is easy of accomplishment: Raise good tions for the lemon tree have been well fruit. Prepare and ship it properly. We defined by experience, the fact is evident may then sell all the leinons we raise and that there are many locations—a large , realize handsomely from this industry. acreage--where the lemon may be suc- The lemon tree, being inore susceptible cessfully grown. As to the quality of the to frost than the orange, is not adapted to fruit, tbat may be improved just as all our middle and lower lands, except in well other fruits are improved-by the selec- sheltered quarters. It thrives however tion of fine varieties and their perpetua
on our mesas, at an altitude of one thoution by budding. Given a locality well sand to two thousand feet above sea level, suited to the requirements of the tree and where frosts severe enough to damage it a selected variety, and I challenge the have never been known. There are thoucitrus growing world to produce a tiner sands of acres of such land in Southern lemon than we can grow in Southern Cal. California, some already improved in ifornia. Until five or six years ago no
fruil farms and much still awaiting develefforts were made to introduce tine varie- opment. ties of this fruit. The kind universally
Discussing lemon culture in a paper grown was a Seedling from the Sicily read before the State Horticultural Socielemon, and indeed at the present time ty in 1883, Mr. L. M. Holt, one of our best these constitute the great bulk of the lemn- authorities on citrus trees, has this to say: ons on our market. This Seedling is a
“ The climate must be such that the exlarge, coarse-grained fruit, with a rind treme cold shall not be hard enough to kill from a quarter to a half inch in thickness, the trees or injure the fruit, and it must a pulp inversely small, and the juice lack- be of such a character that the common ing in both quantity and quality. Such a scale and the fungus known as black dust lemon is a palpable fraud upon the pur- shall not flourish. chaser, as it does not perform the half “When the mercury has been down to that it promises by its exterior bulk. It 23° above zero, the orchardist will find his is undesirable for the shipper and mer- lime trees killed, his lemon trees badly chant because it is quite perishable. The frosted, and his smaller orange trees hurt, pulpy rind when subjected to a slight especially if his budded orange trees are bruise or to too close packing is speedily on lenion, China lemon, or lime roots. smitten with decay, and the fruit is often “ Cold weather produces a thick skin, a lost in transit. When we consider that lack of juice, and in the case of the lemon these lemons have too often been picked a lack of acid. Climate, also, has much and packed in the most bungling and to do with the common scale and black shiftless manner; that the sweating pro- dust. They prevail mostly along the coast cess previous to shipment has been al- valleys, and increase from San Diego northward, while the interior valleys are acter of the lemon as a fruit is also quite more generally free from the pests. San different froin that of the orange, the formDiego is effected but slightly. The inte- er being more of a staple. Lemon juice rior valleys of Los Angeles county have enters largely into manufactured proless than the coast valleys, while San Ber- ducts-in citric acid and in cooking. The nardino county is entirely free from the habit of the tree also in forming and mablack dust, and only occasionally has the turing its fruit successively for several scale.
months of the year favors a long market. “All new countries experiment with Under proper conditions the lemon tree fruits by planting the seed, raising the is hardy, thrifty and a prolific bearer. It tree and fruiting it. If successful, the cul- requires less water than the orange. These ture is then commenced more systemati- are all advantages worth considering. cally. This course was pursued with the The imported lemon sells in the leading orange and lemon. Seeds from the Sicily markets at from $8 to $10 per box, or from lemon were planted, and the fruit thereof $24 to $30 per thousand; the California was called the Sicily lemon. In this re- lemon commands from $2.50 to $3 per box, spect there is a wide difference between or from $10 to $15 per thousand. the orange and lemon, as the Seedling or- Why should not the California lemon, ange is a valuable fruit, while, as a rule, is raised to an equal standard with the imthe Seedling lemon is worthless."
ported fruit command an equal price? Conceding the fact that the area of pos- In 1881 the importation of lemons to the sible production is much smaller for lem- United States amounted to 860,241 boxes, ons than for oranges, and that the indus- or a total of 301,084,352 lemons. For the try is less likely to be overdone than any ten years preceding 1881 there had been other branch of citrus culture, it seems to an average increase of 54,271 boxes annume that lemon growing offers great in- ally. As long as this vast and increasing ducements to the horticulturist who is consumption continues, there must be a rightly situated to engage in it. The char- field for lemon growing.
AN INVESTIGATION OF LEMONS AND LEMON CULTURE.
At the Citrus Fair, held in Riverside in is very clearly shown by the following 1883, a committee was appointed to make statistics, gathered from the valuable rethorough scientific tests, for purposes of port of J. H. Bostwick, upon the importacomparison of lomons grown in Califor- tion of green fruits into the United States nia and of some samples of the imported for 1881 and preceding years. fruit. The committee was also instructed " From this we find that in the years 1872 to consider the status of lemon growing and 1881 the inportations were as follows: in California, and to report upon the best
No. Lemons. means for the promotion of the industry. 1872......... 317,532
1881................. The committee made a valuable report, a
301,084,352 portion of which is subjoined:
“An increase in ten years of 542,709
boxes and 189,948,152 lemons; an annual EXTRACT FROM THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE.
average increase of 54,271 boxes. "To assist the growers of citrus fruits in “It is a notabe fact that while the imporSouthern California in supplying the in
tation of the lemon has increased so rapcreased demand for the lemon, and to idly, that of the orange, during the same place the crops grown by them properly time, has increased only half as much from before the consumers of the Pacific Coast, all sources, and it is reasonable to suppose. was the object of this examination.
that this increase in the importation of the “That there is a very profitable field yet orange will be entirely checked within ten unoccupied by the growers of citrus fruits, years by the great productiveness of the growers of Florida, Louisiana, and Cali- Southern California were fully equal to fornia.
the best imported. “ The foreign lemon, always command- “The Sweet Rinds and most of the Seeding the highest price in the San Francisco lings, with an occasional Lisbon and market, was adopted by the committee as Eureka, were above the standard size and a standard of comparison for the lemons weight. This will nearly always occur grown in Southern California.
when the fruit is permitted to hang longer “Freshly imported specimens were se- upon the tree than is necessary to mature cured from Messina, Malaga and Paler- it for market. mo, direct from Boston, through the lib- “It was noticed in the examination that erality of Mr. H. B. Everest, and Messi- the lemons of Santa Barbara, Ventura, nas from Messrs. Dalton & Gray, of San Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Diego Francisco, the latter having been picked were nearly globular in form, and all havsome six months. All the specimens were ing a smooth, morocco-like texture of the in good condition,
rind, while those of the same varieties " The lemons of Southern California found in San Gabriel and Pasadena were were from all the important fruit-growing
more elongated in form and not as smooth, districts of this section, and from the fact and those of Riverside and vicinity were that they were picked about the same
still more elongated and rougher in rindtime and cured in the same manner, the a marked difference that must, in the collection was the best in its average ap- opinion of the committee, be attributed to pearance and quality ever placed upon
the differences in the temperature and huexhibition in the State.
midiiy of the atmosphere in the localities
named. “The following table shows the result of the analyses:
“It is noticeable that the smoothness and thinness of rind indicate greater quantity of juice, owing to the better development and cured state of the lemon. The extreme size does not show its proportional quantity of juice, but the medium sizes show the best averages.
“SECOND-BITTERNESS.-- A bitter lemon is worthless for market purposes, and to the fact that so many of the Seedling lem
ons of California are bitter, is to be attribLisbov, average 11 tests 28.1 10.19 36.6
uted, to a great extent, the low value of Eureka, average 7 tests 25.25 9.33 37.0 8.81 Sweet Rind, 1 test.. 34.0 10.12 29.7
this lemon in the San Francisco markets. Knobby..
" The test for bitterness, as adopted by Imported Messina. 26.5 12.0 45.2 8.19 Imported Palermo..
5.75 33.8 9.65 the committee, was much more severe Imported Malaga.. 21.5 7.0 32.5 8.29
than that required of the lemon in ordi
nary use; yet the result was an exceeding“The following points were adopted as a ly favorable one for the best budded varibasis of comparison with the foreign lem- eties of our lemons.
“Out of forty-eight samples tested, thir“First — Appearance, including size of ty were entirely free from bitterness; lemon and quality of rind.
seyen showed only a trace, and eleven “Second-Bitterness.
were decidedly bitter. “Third-Percentage of acidity.
“ We think, from this showing, it will “FIRST-APPEARANCE, ETC.-A lemon not be difficult for our fruit growers to weighing about three ounces, when cured, eliminate all traces of bitterness from the of a bright golden color, with a smooth, fruit grown here. To do this successfully soft rind, seems to be the favorite in the the causes must be thoroughly undermarkets; and in all these respects the com- stood, and the remedies, well known, as mittee were unanimous in the opinion thoroughly applied. hat the budded lemons on exhibition for "As a foundation for further and more
Weight of lemons, drams
Amount of juic, drams..
Per cent of acid......
Per cent of juice........
Amount of acid.
98 .55 .58