Bearss Lemon Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Bearss Lemon trees are fast growing, and produce very few thorns compared to other lemons. The fruit is juicy with a sharp tartness valued for use in beverages, lemon desserts, and other dishes

The Bearss Lemon tree variety originated as a seedling discovered in the Bearss citrus grove near Lutz, Florida in 1952. Bearss Lemon trees are fast growing, and produce very few thorns compared to other lemons. The fruit is juicy with a sharp tartness valued for use in beverages, lemon desserts, and other dishes. Bearss Lemons are also known to have fewer seeds and more juice than other lemons of the same size.

Bearss Lemon trees are hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11, and can be grown in a container and moved indoors for winter in colder climates.

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Citrus Tree Care

The Bearss Lemon tree reaches a size of between 12 and 18 feet tall and 16 feet wide. Be sure to leave enough room on all sides of the tree when planting. Plant in sandy well-drained soil that contains plenty of organic matter. Prune away any dead or dying branches and cut off any sucker branches that appear at the tree base.

If growing in a container, place in a sunny window or on a sunny patio in spring and summer. Move your Bearss Lemon tree indoors in winter to avoid freezing conditions. Remember that when you relocate a citrus tree from outdoors to in, and back, it is normal for the tree to shed leaves. Fallen leaves will grow back and this process is natural and will not harm the tree.

Fruit & Harvesting

Bearss Lemon trees bloom fragrant white blooms in late spring and early summer, and produce mature fruit from August to December. Fruit can be picked when light yellow-green to bright yellow. Harvested Bearss Lemons will last for up to one week if stored in a cool place, or longer if refrigerated. While the Bearss Lemon tree is mostly thornless, some thorns may persist, so use caution when picking.

Growing Zones


Feeding a Bearss Lemon tree is an important part of growing a solid crop of lemons. Composted grass clippings, leaves, and organic material can be spread under the tree to provide slow release feeding. You can also fertilize with citrus fertilizer once every three months. Follow the fertilizer directions for dosages according to tree size and age. Always water fertilizer in thoroughly and never allow compost or thick mulch to rest against the tree base.


How are Bearss Lemons different from other lemons?

The Bearss Lemon is what is known as a True Lemon (a variety of acidic juice citrus fruit). The Bearss Lemon has more juice than some lemons of the same size, and is more tart than the sweeter Meyer Lemon. Bearss Lemons are also valued for the high concentration of lemon oil present in their skins.

Is it true that a Bearss Lemon Tree has no thorns?

Bearss Lemon Trees have far fewer thorns than other lemon varieties. However, mature trees can still display some smaller thorns on new growth, and infrequent formidable thorns on older branches. Therefore, it is still recommended that you use gloves and caution when harvesting or pruning this lemon tree.

Will a Bearss Lemon Tree grown in a pot still produce fruit?

Yes. A container grown Bearss Lemon will stay smaller than its in-ground counterpart, but the tree will still produce lemons. In fact, since lemons are smaller than some other citrus fruits, they are great trees for growing in a pot. Be sure the container is of adequate size, and that your tree gets ample sunlight, water, fertilizer, and drainage.

What time of year can I expect to harvest lemons from my Bearss Lemon Tree?

You can harvest your Bearss Lemons as soon as the fruit begins to shift in color from deep green to yellow-green, and as the fruit turns progressively more yellow. This occurs between late summer through winter. In most cases, Bearss Lemons are mature and ready to harvest from August through December.