The Q&A Archives: Back Yard Location For Planting Trees

Question: Hello. I have recently purchased a Lisbon Lemon tree and a Valencia Orange tree. Both are presently in 15 gallon containers. I am going to plant them in the back yard of my home which faces the east (I live in Sunnyvale, CA - zip 94085). The yard receives full sun and is fenced in on three sides (the fourth side being the house). I would like to try and encourage their growth as much as possible and I have an area 28 feet long and about ten feet wide to plant them in. My question is this: If I placed each tree in the middle of an imaginary circle how large should I make each circle to promote good growth together in this yard? In other words, how much room should I give each tree to grow? Thank you.

Answer: You're wise in carefully planning for the future growth of your trees. They'll reward you with healthy growth and lots of fruit!. Citrus trees need full sunshine and rich, moist, well-draining soil. They'll appreciate some elbow room - good air circulation all around will keep diseases at bay.

Lisbon has an upright growth habit and will eventually reach 20' tall. The canopy will generally remain less than eight feet in diameter. You can prune your tree to keep it shorter and narrower.

A standard Valencia orange tree is globe-shaped, about 20' high and wide. A dwarf Valencia will grow only 12' tall and wide.

To provide adequate space for each tree and to keep them from hanging over the fences into neighboring yards, center your trees in the space you have, giving equal distance between the fences, the house, and each other. Best wishes with your citrus trees!

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