Plant a Lemon Tree Day takes place every third Saturday in May. This year, it will be celebrated on May 18. The day encourages people to plant lemon trees in their gardens and spread awareness about this immensely beneficial fruit. Lemon trees are not only renowned for their tangy citrus fruits; they can also serve as a social link for members of a locality or community. Since the trees can produce far more fruit than any one family can consume, a thriving lemon tree in a public location allows everyone to stop by and pick a lemon as they desire. Moreover, its shade is a fantastic place for locals to gather and bond with one another.
History of Plant a Lemon Tree Day
Plant a Lemon Tree Day was established to give lemon trees prominence everywhere. The exact origin and the founder of this day still remain unknown. Historians claim that lemons first grew in northern Burma, China, and Assam, in northeast India. Lemons are known to have been cultivated in Egypt and Iran since 700 A.D. and it is believed that they were introduced to southern Italy around 200 A.D. Scientists have estimated that the first citrus fruits started to grow around seven million years ago, and over the centuries, started producing the fruit we call ‘lemon’ today. A genomic study states that this citrus fruit is a result of a genetic cross between citron and sour oranges.
Archeologists estimate that lemons arrived in Europe through southern Italy in the second century A.D. However, the trees were not widely cultivated, which made them rare and valuable. In ancient Rome, lemons were so scarce that they were considered a luxury that only the elite could afford. In 1747, physician James Lind discovered that the juice of citrus fruits could cure scurvy, a common issue with sailors back then. Further studies by scientists indicated that lemons had high vitamin C content along with many vital nutrients. Furthermore, compounds such as vitamins A, B, and other important minerals that are found in lemon juice, are also highly beneficial.
In the early days, lemons were commonly used in perfumery. People also used lemons for flavoring foods, bleaching cotton printings, and for medicinal purposes. A lemon is a delicious and nutritious fruit that’s good for your health, has an invigorating aroma, and that breaks down grime easily.
Plant a Lemon Tree Day timeline
The Arabs spread lemon trees across Persia.
The first notable cultivation of lemon trees for food and ornamental purposes takes place in Genoa.
The famous explorer, Christopher Columbus, brings lemon seeds with him on his voyage to Hispaniola.
Lemon trees start to thrive extensively in the warm and highly suitable American climate, particularly in the states of California and Florida.
Plant a Lemon Tree Day FAQs
How did the lemon get its name?
The word ‘lemon’ originates from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain that existed around the 7th century A.D. The word itself is a distorted form of the name ‘Leifman’ or ‘Leman,’ which means “dear man” or “beloved woman.”
What are the most common types of lemons?
The most common varieties include the Meyer, Eureka, and Lisbon lemons.
How much fruit does a lemon tree produce?
As per the University of Arizona, a fully mature lemon tree can produce up to 220 pounds of fruit every year. The yield depends upon the variety as well.
Plant a Lemon Tree Day Activities
Plant a lemon tree
As the name suggests, the best way to mark this tangy day is by planting a lemon tree nearby, where it is allowed. There’s no better way to celebrate.
Indulge in lemons
This day is perfect for learning more about the health benefits of lemons. While you’re at it, have some lemon soda or a glass of chilled lemonade!
Share on social media
Spread the word about this important day and post pictures of lemon trees and the recipes that make use of this sour and appetizing fruit. You can use the hashtag #PlantALemonTreeDay.
5 Interesting Facts About Lemons
They’re used to cook sushi
The juice of unripe or green lemons is very helpful in the cooking process of sushi, the famous Japanese dish.
They can be grown indoors
Lemon trees can be easily grown indoors in large pots or small home gardens, as long as these plants are given proper care.
The size of the fruit is more crucial than the color — at the wrong size, they’re extremely sour and not ready to be consumed, even if they appear ripe with yellow or greenish-yellow skin.
A year-round tree
Lemon trees can produce fruit throughout the year.
The U.S. tops lemon production
The states of California and Arizona produce the majority of the lemon crop in the United States.
Why We Love Plant a Lemon Tree Day
We get to make lemonade
Making lemonade isn’t limited to tough life situations. On this holiday, we revel in the satisfaction of a cold glass (or three) of lemonade.
It's about community
The key point of this day is to foster community spirit by sharing the fruit from public trees. Good things become even better when shared.
A shot at good health
Lemons have many culinary uses, such as in baking, giving flavors, and adding zing to certain teas and drinks. This day is a good opportunity to try these interesting lemony treats.
Plant a Lemon Tree Day dates