Purchasing Our Trees
Where to buy in California
Our trees are widely available in nurseries and garden centers. Ask for Four Winds Growers Citrus by name.
Growing Citrus as Houseplants
Believe it or not, you can easily grow a happy, healthy, and productive citrus tree indoors! Key elements for success are good light, adequate humidity indoors in the
potting soil, additional
Your Family Tree
--Mary Helen Seeger
The Sock StoryOn an occasion many years ago, a customer drove into our nursery in Mission San Jose California. He proclaimed he had come all the way from Wisconsin and wanted an orange tree. While on a business trip a couple of years prior he had bought a tree in Southern California. He was greatly disappointed when it did not survive. Read more »
I would like to share my experience with Four Winds Citrus.I had been wanting to buy another citrus tree but was a little leery because I had spent good money last year on two citrus trees from another company. I paid good money for what ended up being two sticks, a few leaves, and a small amount of soil around the roots. Read more »
Grandmother's spectacular lemon-meringue pie...Aunt Stu's freshly squeezed lemonade for picnics in the park...and miles and miles of beautiful citrus as seen from Santa Fe's Hi-level El Capitan on my way to Southern California for yet, another long-anticipated summer stay are all great childhood memories that continue to live on, thanks to Four Winds Growers and their premium dwarf citrus trees.
Ever since I was little, I would travel back and forth from my house in the tropics to this one, where I now live in New England. I remember getting off the plane in the south, and getting a huge whiff of citrus blossoms. Read more »
I just wanted to pass along a tip. I have been growing my four citrus trees indoors, and they LOVE my LED grow lights. These are so-called "PAR-38" bulbs that screw into any common light fixture, and consume only 10W each. They are constructed with 120 red LED's and 48 blue LED's designed to match their output to the absorption spectra of chlorophyll. I purchased 5 for $120.00, making it a low cost, efficient solution to supplement natural light for my trees here in New England. Right now the trees are loaded with blossoms, and the whole house smells fragrant. - Tim Turner, Belmont, MA
We first got started with citrus trees 25 years ago and now have several citrus trees here in MN, 2 orange, 2 lemon, 1 grapefruit, 1 lime. We keep them in the house in winter & out on the deck in summer. We continuously have had good luck with our trees & enjoy them so very much. Our first tree was bought 25 years ago & now we have that one plus 5 others in the house. We have flowers, mature citrus & growing ones all at the same time! It's the topic of many conversations!!! We are currently adding on to our home to make more room for our growing trees!!!
...We were in two local newspapers & on one TV news broadcast. It seems to be a big thing in MN, not only to us!!!
Bob & Dar Ripka
My mother once told me her Meyer lemon was the best tree ever. When I had a home of my own I planted one and it has been the best tree ever! My mother taught me to squeeze them and place juice in ice cube trays, freeze them, then place in freezer bags. This way you can make Sweet Meyer Lemonade all year around. My tree is extremely productive and I share lemons with all my friends. This year I went one step further and looked up recipes and created a Meyer Lemon/Cranberry bundt cake, and yummy lemon bread!
Petra Lakes, San Bernardino CA
I too bought from a "catalog" and got a stick. I nurtured it along and it is (finally) producing well. I have since purchased other Dwarf Meyer Lemon and Dwarf Navel Orange from Four Winds. Here in Michigan of course we must take the trees in during the winter as it gets way below zero. I put my trees in the window to get sun.
A nice thing about my trees that they are next to a window that looks down into a valley and I have my spotting scope set up to watch wildlife there. It is so neat to sit down and watch deer, coyote, owls, etc. while smelling the beautiful aroma of citrus blossoms.
The last crop of lemons I had off my three foot tree was 9. I am looking forward to my first crop of navel oranges. I use the lemons to make Lemon Chess Pie. To pollinate the trees in the winters I use a Q-tip, but my wife says that to really be pollinating, I have to buzz at the same time. I really don't know how those guys do it, buzz and pollinate at the same time! Sometimes I cheat and don't buzz.
Richard Schinkel, Barrien Springs, MI
I got started 3 years ago and now my Dad is also interested in growing citrus trees as a hobby. I was never happy with other nurseries' citrus trees, until I found Four Winds online. When I first called, Kerry answered my questions - even helping me with my peach tree. When my citrus trees came, they were the nicest, bushiest trees I have gotten. Whenever I have had questions, Four Winds has been there to help. I know that Kerry and this company stand by their trees, and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and trust me you will love your trees!
Tammy Groves, Lavergne, TN
There is nothing more glorious then the scent of 'fresh' -- and if you can't get to fresh, then it's wonderful to have fresh brought to you. It seems that no matter where I am in my house, when a blossom on my dwarf Meyer lemon tree opens to the air, I can smell it and I know that something wonderful just happened. I also know that it won't be too long before I'm actually going to have another lemon in my hand and will decide what wonderful treat I'll make with it. During its creation, while it's still on the tree, I can smell it and the aroma is refreshing and invigorating both.
Our living room affords us the luxury of hosting your elegant yet still practical dwarf citrus trees, and that provides me with the illusion of being in places I'm now excluded from visiting. My illness and blindness may limit me, but your trees and their bounty are gifts in ways others could never imagine. To some a tree, to me an adventure!
Kerry Grigg, Caldwell, ID
I am a 39 year old man who grew up, as many Americans have, with parents from another country who used to grow, and now missed their local fruits. My father used to go on and on about the fruit back home... I developed the "spring fever" for growing when I was pretty young, and my interest would always be in things that fruit...citrus, mango, banana,guava, etc. Read more »
My twin brother, Dave, passed away August 17, 2011, at the age of 53 from a heart attack while out of town on business. Dave was responsible for most of the members of the family eating oranges, as well as introducing us to beer that is so much better with orange slices in it. To honor Dave, I planted an orange tree in my back yard in a container so if I ever moved we could take it with us. We are a large family (seven kids) with children of our own and we get together a lot. At Christmas time we gather at my house where it should be the perfect time for everyone to see the orange tree planted in his honor. One sister ordered a stone plaque that sits in front of the tree, dedicating the tree to Dave. We all hope to be eating the oranges from the tree very soon.
While we are all very sad about Dave's very early passing, this is one way to remember him fondly. One niece just got a tattoo of an orange tree with a bottle of beer and some sunglasses in his memory. My brother Dave was a very good man. His wife of 25 years and his two children will miss him most, but we will always have our orange tree, a True Dwarf Washington Navel.
Shirley Sexton, Elk Grove, CA
Hi! I saw this contest on your site and wanted to share my experience with citrus trees. As an Asian born and raised by an Asian family, me and my kid brother learned about eating and enjoying citrus when we were very young. When I was growing up my parents' home had an orange tree, a mandarin orange tree and a lime tree; along with many other fruit trees. Me and my kid brother have fond memories of the lime tree that my parents grew in the backyard. Every time it was ripe and loaded with fruit, I created this imaginary club called the "Lemon Club" (we did find out later the tree was a lime tree), and as an "initiation" test, we had to eat the limes in a few different ways - some of them being raw, raw with salt, raw with sugar, and squeezing the juice to freeze and eat in those ice cube forms.
As the self-elected leader of the club I decided whether each member was to pass or fail. Passing all the tests granted the club members unique privileges - such as piggy back rides and anti-snitching policies. Now it is very fair to say that as a kid and even now, I love eating sour citrus. The taste and tingle of limes and lemons intoxicate me in a pleasureable stupor. However, my kid brother hated sour citrus and having him eat these sour citrus was a real test. Needless to say, even though we had the cheers and encouragement of all our stuffed animals, he never did pass all the tests -- but we did always grant him partial membership.
Time passed and my parents sold our old house and moved into their current one. They bought many citrus trees -- half of them from Four Winds. But they never bought another lime tree again -- despite my begs and pleas. My childhood memories of the Lemon Club seemed to be dwindling away forever. As me and my brother grew older and went to college and started working full time we never spoke of the famed "Lemon Club." We each stabilized our careers, got married and recently bought our own houses. On a recent visit to his place I noticed that he planted a Mexican (Key) lime tree from Four Winds and it already had fruit! I quickly asked him why he planted the lime tree since he clearly doesn't like limes. He responded with, "Remember the 'Lemon Club'? I grew it to give you limes since you love limes." Thank you very much Four Winds for keeping my childhood memories alive!
Anthony T., CA
I lived in Belgium my whole life, until I was 29. Early December was my favorite time of the year; Saint Nikolaas would bring treats and toys. That was the first time of the season the mandarins were there. I adored those, and still do. My son, who is 11, and I eat at least 10 a day, for as long as they are available. When we moved to California, I missed my climate, but what I liked about living in California is that we can grow citrus!
I have been collecting plants that remind me of my country, and I have a large collection of your citrus trees. [During the holidays] I put cloves in oranges. The last few days my dog and I have been eating Australian Finger Limes; they are coming off the tree in large numbers! Yesterday I cooed with citrons from my garden and I scent the house with oils from the bitter orange (Bergamot) which smells like Earl Grey tea.
I made our citrus corner in the sunniest spot in the yard, which happens to be right where the dining room porch is and the playroom window. I love to open the windows and smell the delicious flowers! Now that the last leaves have come off of deciduous trees, the citrus stand out in their rich green leaves!
I love your varieties and the trees are always so healthy! Thanks for making my life so much richer with trees!
Christie C., San Anselmo, CA
I am a driver and bought two Moro Blood orange trees, one Meyer lemon and one Clementine mandarin (Four Winds trees). Got lemons the first year, blooms like crazy. 2011 was the first yeaar to harvest oranges. The trees sit outside all summer and are grown in a heated breezeway in winter. People are amazed to hear about this and I take blooms around so people can smell that wonderful scent that is in my home. I will be adding more trees to my collection... Zone 4 WE GOT CITRUS!!
Thomas M., Plainfield, WI
Hello, Four Winds. About four years ago I purchased a Meyer lemon tree from your company. It has produced lemons since the end of the first year! This winter I have a bumper crop of huge lemons. My tree lives outdoors from April 1 to November 1, spending winters in my sunroom. It is a special treat to have a fruiting tree in January! I share the lemons with relatives and friends who think they are the best lemons they have ever had. I counted 26 lemons last week and that is after I picked at least 6 or 8 for Christmas cooking. Can't tell you how happy I am with my lemon tree and wanted to thank you for having such great products. I plan to purchase a lime tree in the spring.
Betty S., Lowell, MA
I became interested in citrus when I first heard about the tangelo fruit back when I was a freshman in high school. I heard it was a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, and thought that sounded like an intersting combination. I wanted to buy some to see what they tasted like, but none of the grocery stores near my home carried them. I looked in grocery stores when I travelled as well, but the tangelo was nowhere to be seen. Then almost seven years after I first heard of tangelos, I discovered Four Winds Growers. I saw that they had Minneola tangelo trees for sale and quickly bought one. I also bought a Meyer lemon, a Centennial Variegated Kumquat, and a Washington navel orange. All the trees have now started to bear fruit, and this past summer I was finally able to taste a tangelo - not from a grocery store but from a tree of my very own!
By this time I had become quite interested in citrus varieties and hoped to start a citrus garden of my own. I live in Maryland, which is in Zone 7 and not exactly the prime citrus-growing location, but I was determined to find a way to grow them here by keeping them outside int he spring and summer months and bringing them inside and placing them under grow lights for fall and winter... Now I have a collection of ten citrus trees which are all thriving, fruiting and remaining perfectly healthy even here in Maryland! It all began by discovering Four Winds, which enabled me to learn about all the different varieties of citrus and how to care for them. It's much more special to pick and eat fruit off of your own trees that you put hours of work into caring for, than to buy it at the grocery store. And it tastes that much better too!
Sarah K., Ellicott City, MD
We've had our Meyer lemon tree for about six or seven years now and usually get up to a dozen or so lemons each year. Last year was exceptional; during the Christmas break the tree must have had hundreds of blossoms; beautiful fragrant and delicate flowers! Since we live outside the Boston area, the tree was indoors and I was very busily pollinating these blossoms with my handy Q-Tip every time I saw one pop out. During this period my husband, who is very sensitive to any type of perfume, decided to take a week off and was home. The blooms lasted for about three weeks, giving him a headache the whole time, while I was in seventh heaven savoring the lemony floral aroma in the house!
Last spring the tree decided to start blooming again - but my husband was prepared. Since it was still too cold to move it outdoors he had a plan. He built a teepee out of plastic panels for the tree and moved it outside. Good Grief! I thought, 'He's going to suffocate my tree!' So I made sure to keep an eye on it, monitoring it each day I got home from work - and each day at least one of the sides had fallen over. That lasted about a month when the weather finally warmed up enough to set it free! So here we are in December again; there are no blossoms so far and heaven knows what my husband is going to do. He may just have to move out temporarily! I'll keep you posted.
Annie V., Lincoln, MA
I LOVE my dwarf citrus trees from Four Winds Growers. I've had five of them for a number of years and like the portability when I move and always have citrus -- be it lemons, oranges or mandarins. Having them in containers eliminates the below ground pests and I can bring a tree indoors when it is in flower to enjoy the fragrance of the blooms. They are a real treat in just about every way... low maintenance, beautiful, bountiful and fragrant. All my trees are from Four Winds because I know I am getting a quality tree.
Liz P., Aptos, CA
This is actually a story that began more than a century ago. In the 1890's my great grandfather, William Fry came to California, married and began raising his family and twenty acres of lemon trees at the corner of Sunset and Western in what became Hollywood. He lost his wife early on and was a single father. He was elected the Sherriff of Hollywood during the brief period when it was an independent city. He was one of the founding member so fthe California Citrus Growers' Association. I have his hand written diary from 1901 that details the day to day business of growing lemons. He and his son, my grandfather, planted palm trees along Sunset and kept them alive during drought years by breaking open melons and placing them at the base of the trees. He also details his expenses for the grading of Sunset Blvd. where it passed in front of his place. When Hollywood was struggling to remain anonymous he was the only person who managed to drill for water and have his own water supply. The city of Hollywood had a short life (five years I think) before it was "outlawed" to have your own well. They were, of necessity, forced to re-annex to the city of Los Angeles (ever hear of the Mulholland Water Project?) He sold his land to the studios in the 1920's and invested his money in a gold mine.
Allison H., Sun Valley, CA
I have and will always be a cat lover. Growing up, I always had a cat as a pet and I still have one today. Her name is Dark Chocolate. The story of how she came into my life is a funny one. When I bought my house back in 1994, I was a single man with a cat who I named Whisper. She alwasy roamed outside and loved to play near this orange tree in the backyard. She would claw at the trunk, sleep under the tree on hot days and even play with the flowers. I swear, that tree and Whisper had a love hate relationship. As the years went on Whisper got old, and spent more and more time sleeping under the tree than clawing it or playing with the flowers. One day I saw her there and she had passed away. I was sad and swore that I would never have another cat.
Months and years went by and the citrus tree was still there, but it didn't look healthy. Wanting to "play doctor" and heal the tree, I took a look at it one day and noticed a litter of kittens under the tree. As the kittens grew older they still hung around the orange tree -- which at this time was certainly dying. I still didn't want to adopt a cat, much less feral kittens. One day while doing my routine walk of the garden, one of the kittens was following me. I didn't want to feed it and I didn't want to adopt it. I ran into the house and shut the door. "Meoww!" the kitten screamed. Apparently it had run after me and caught its paw in the door. When I opened the door this dark brown kitten was limping and couldn't walk. I decided to take it in, nurse it and feed it some warm milk.
As soon as it was well enough to run I oopened the backyard door and it darted for the now-dead orange tree. Perhaps it was looking for its family? Perhaps it remembers and likes the smell of citrus? I don't know. But after awhile the cat, who I've already named Dark Chocolate, reminded me so much of Whisper - playing in the yard and around the citrus tree - that I told myself that if she came back to me after a few hours playing outside, that I'll take care of her and would plant a citrus tree so she could have a citrus tree to grow up with. And she did -- so Dark Chocolate became a part of my family. I went out and bought a Four Winds Moro Blood Orange. It has been roughly 6 years since that day and she still loves to sit underneath it and sleep and play with the flowers.
Gerald C., Union City, CA
My obsession with citrus began when I was 19 years old. I moved out of my Mom's house and into my first apartment. I bought a Meyer lemon tree and kept it in a pot on my balcony. That tree stayed with me for years until I bought my first townhouse and then eventually I got married and we bought a bigger house on some land. For the first time I was able to plant my little Meyer lemon tree in the ground and boy was it excited to spread its roots! The tree is now almost as tall as my house and produced hundreds of lemons for us every Winter. We've added an additional lemon, a couple of orange trees, a pummelo, a lime and mandarin, a grapefruit, a blood orange and an indiomandarinquat since then.
To me, citrus is the perfect plant - it stays green year 'round, and in the winter when everything is drab and brown we get these beautiful bright colors coming from the citrus trees. I started a blog to keep track of everything we are growing here: http://www.readbetweenthelimes.blogspot.com
Carri S., Sacramento, CA
I’ve been planting trees since I was 5, thanks to 4-H. Being allowed to dig deep, important holes, help wrestle big trees into place, hammer supporting stakes – INCREDIBLE! Knowing that I was helping the Earth? Icing on the cake. It’s been great to see the trees that I’ve planted grow tall and give shade to kids in neighborhood parks, or just make areas more beautiful.
Over the last two years, I’ve moved from just helping plant trees to now organizing my own tree plantings. Now, as a 13 year old, I’m enabling other kids to make a difference by planting trees. For example, I set up my town’s 2011 Arbor Day Celebration, a County Park Planting of 25 trees and 25 bushes, a High School Earth Day Event, and more.
Since August, 2011, I’ve also been helping to get tree nurseries planted in Kenya. Because 98% of the original forests in Kenya have been lost to cooking fires, development and other issues, they need trees. I’m on the youth board of the 4H Million Trees project (www.4hmilliontrees.org), and we funded the creation of tree nurseries in 10 villages. Kenyan youth and their families are learning about the importance of trees, nutrition, food security, health, tree biology, and environmental conservation. Tree nursery projects at their schools can help them by providing additional nutrition, and add to agricultural productivity through agroforestry. Since we started, over 105,000 tree seeds have been planted. We’re trying to take this successful project on the road to Liberia and Ghana.
The tree planting project that I’m probably proudest about took me over 18 months to organize. It was called Reforesting San Bruno (RFSB), and focused on replanting trees in San Bruno, CA that were lost to a gas fire which burned 55 homes, killed 8 people, melted a children’s park, and charred the trees in a large part of a nearby canyon. I saw the fire as I was with my mom picking my dad up from the San Francisco Airport and wanted to help.
So I offered the city my help to set up a tree planting event for the burned out canyon space, or to manage a project where I could offer discounted or free trees to homeowners whose homes and yards were lost to the fire, or help plant trees and landscape the children’s park. They asked me to be responsible for replacing the resident’s backyard trees. I had to write grant proposals, work with the City, neighbors, create a website (https://sites.google.com/site/reforestingsanbrunoresidents/) negotiate discounts with tree vendors, and recruit hundreds of volunteers, write articles advertising the offer in the local Patch on-line paper, mail out flyers and more. It happened on Earth Day, 4/22/12, and was GREAT! We planted 54 trees in 41 back yards, and brought a neighborhood together to do something positive – to rebuild their community. I’m still proud. My favorite part of getting ready for this project was a visit to Four Winds Growers in Winters, CA. I bought about 30 trees for my project, and a kumquat tree for my own yard with the hope of years of future munching. Although it was studded with these tear drop shaped fruit, branches sagging with the weight, most of the fruit didn’t make it home on the tree, yet my tummy felt happy with all the citrus inside *wink*.
As we say at the 4H Million Trees Project: Every day really is a good day to plant a tree! I’ll add one more thought – every day is a great day for a kumquat!
Julien - Reforesting San Bruno
In 1960, my parents bought property in South Riverside County where they built their home and moved their nursery. My children loved to hang out with their cousins as they tramped the "ranch" to look for interesting things; they helped their Grandpa in the wonderful vegetable garden, played among the nursery stock, took long hikes, rode around on the Marketeer electric carts. Rarely did we ever come home without pollywogs, frogs, goldfish, sensitive plants, vegetables, tangerines, oranges, or wildflowers. Mentioning the tangerines triggers a funny/embarassing story for me. we loved the ranch tangerines, and for years my children called them "Fancy Dancy". So when my friend Susan wanted to plant citrus in her yard in Palm Desert I went with her to nurseries to help choose the trees. She wanted a tangerine, but we couldn't find the "Fancy Dancy." I kept asking for and insisting on that variety bu the response was always, "We only have a Dancy." Well that wouldn't do, so Susan didn't get one then. Later on I complained to my dad that none of the nurseries had that tangerine; he laughingly informed me that their tree was a Dancy. Fortunately I didn't have to go back and see those nursery folks again. When my husband and I built our present home on half an acre in Vista, rather than buy new trees, Dad offered to graft different citrus onto five old lime trees, using their established rootstock. He furnished the grafts from their trees at the ranch - Navel and Valencia oranges, (Fancy) Dancy tangerine and instead of cutting off the lime branches of one of the trees, he left them and grafted a Meyer lemon on one branch...then we had a lemon-lime tree! Thirty-five years later we still enjoy all that delicious fruit. My wonderful father passed away in January at the age of 100 (and three months, as he would tell us). He was quite a guy.
I want to thank everyone at Four Winds Growers! My trees arrived and unfortunately, after following instructions to the letter, two of the trees died. (It had been extremely hot herein CA that week) After calling Kerry at Four Winds she promptly sent me replacements which I am happy to report are doing very well. The reason I wanted to purchase Blood Orange trees is that my partner passed away suddenly two years ago. Before he passed, he had purchased two Blood Orange trees for me as a gift. These trees perished no later than one month after his death. I was heart broken. I contacted Four Winds and am so happy I did. I smile and think of the future ahead of me. My friends and family are very excited and now want their own trees. As far as I am concerned, these trees make great gifts; gifts of life. Thank you again, and I will be sure to keep you updated on their growth.
Jeffrey S. - Santa Ana, CA
I have had a dwarf Washington Navel Orange tree now for close to 10 years. It is a container plant and was in my office for several years with very little success with flowering. Later I found out that I didn't have adequate light. I moved out of the office and needed a sheltered "home" for it. A neighbor had a small greenhouse and over the winter the tree really took off and even fruited. I then bought a small greenhouse for the tree and have over the years learned how to take care of my "baby." I've lost one or two crops because of uneven watering, but now have a moisture meter and maintain a regular watering schedule. There are some beautiful oranges on the tree right now that are starting to show some ripening color. I've also got a small lime tree in the greenhouse with fruit on it and now it's time to add a lemon tree. It is so much fun watching and nurturing the trees.
Mitch D., Baldwin, MD
We live in the Cape Fear coastal region of eastern North Carolina where the summers are hot and humid, and winter evening temperatures can occasionally drop below 24 degrees. Five years ago, we decided to order a dwarf Owari Satsuma mandarin and Minneola tangelo from Four Winds because we loved both varieties in Southern California where we previously lived. Our California trees, from which we enjoyed copious amounts of luscious fruit, were also purchased from Four Winds over 20 years ago. So far, after five years we havent had any problems growing our two trees oudoors next tot the house, aside from making sure they are protected during the few nights when winter temperatures fall below 28 degrees. To do this, we cover both trees with Agribon frost cloth and place small electric heaters with inline thermostats under each tree. (When the trees were smaller, a single light bulb did the trick.) We also monitor the outside temperature during cold nights with a $20 wireless termperature gauge. So far, our trees have experienced no other problems during the rest of the year. Unlike our other deciduous fruit trees, the citrus are practically maintenance free and seem to thrive here in the hot summers and sandy soil. Also we've noticed that insects and animals tend to leave them alone. This year we plan to purchase two more dwarf trees so we can enjoy fresh citrus fruit throughout the year.
John S., Southport, NC
Just a short story about how little space it takes to have a lemon tree i your own yard: In the '50's my parents' house was in Willow Glen, a district of San Jose, California. There had been a swamp with lots of willows, before it was drained for housing in the '20's and '30's. It was adobe soil, but very fertile, in a neighborhood of modest homes on small lots. even with a small yard, my mother wanted to plant a citrus. Our neighbors all had orange trees, pretty large ones, and Dad said "no room", but brought one home anyway... Mom found a 4x4'spot next to the neighbor's asphalt driveway in front of a little gateway that led to a 6' south-facing side yard. In went the Improved Meyer Lemon tree. In a few short years, it was producing all the lemons Mom could use in cooking, making lemonade for us kids (no KoolAid for us) and her famous Lemon Pies, plus more for neighbors and friends. She kept it to sayze (4x4x4') with a pair of old school, hand held hedge clippers. Whack, Whack, Whack was all she did a couple times a year to keep it pruned to shape. It was in bloom all year long with regular watering of the lawn. The neighbor's driveway reflected lots of heat and it loved the location. 40 years later she sold the house -- the lemon tree is still there, producing away for its new owners, into the new century. On my own sandy acre lot, I've a Meyer too, but have let it get to size -- about 10x10' now. Every year at this time I give the last of the spring/summer crop to a friend who grows olives on their Central Coast ranch, to press for oil. They press the lemons along with the olives on a stone wheel for a subtle and fragrant EV Olive Oil. Not a bad trade -- lemons for fresh olive oil! From flowers to fruits, I've been enjoying Four Winds Citrus for over 50 years now! Love it!
Sue, Nipomo, CA
I live on a mountain in western North Carolina. When I retired from the US Air Force in 2004 I wanted to add something to the secluded deck that would make it unique. I ordered an orange and a Meyer lemon from Four Winds, thinking they would live on the deck most of the year and winter behind full-view French doors that faced teh morning sun. That turned out not to be enough sun for this cool climate and I would forget to water them at times. In 2011 I moved them to the front of my house where they get full sun adn I see them daily, so I never forget to water them. My yield improved the first year and became quite the talk of the neighborhood, especially among those who came from FL and HI. Then I got the idea to put them on wheels so I can roll them into the garage when the temperature is forecast to be below freezing. This year my yield has doubled. I have over 20 oranges and over 30 lemons on my two trees and the neighbors cannot believe their eyes. One even told me, "Those won't grow here!" in spite of the ripe fruit on the trees right before his eyes. How wonderful to have fresh home grown tasty citrus as the Christmas season approaches!!
Billy, Hendersonville, NC
Five years ago I started dating my now wife. The first few months of dating was a very exciting, fun and scary time for us...As we got closer to our one-year dating anniversary, I was trying to figure out what I could get her as an anniversary present. I racked my mind for ideas - I wanted the present to be perfect. My then-girlfriend was a very down to earth girl, who liked nature, family and the simple things in life. Her favorite tree was oranges and she loved fresh squeezed orange juice so it was an easy decision to get an orange tree for her. My brother, a hardcore gardener, suggested Four Winds as a place to get quality trees, so I had him order one for me. The tree arrived about a week before our 1-year anniversary and I secretly planted it ino our future home.. And then on our one year anniversary date, I blindfolded my girlfriend and led her to the garden. She LOVED it! We got married later that year and although the tree would flower and have nice healthy leaves it took several years before it would bear fruit. Finally last year, in 2012 much to our surprise, we got oranges! My wife was very happy, and I was as well. We enjoyed those oranges very much and are hoping for more next summer. Thanks, Four Winds for this great tree. We love it very much! You have brought great joy into our lives.
Steve and Amy, Fremont, CA
Many years ago, as an undergrad, I had a good friend that I have since lost contact with. He and I spent a good deal of our free time attempting to grow various plants from seed that we used ona a regular basis, such as lemons, limes and even Kalamata olives. We were minimally successful but enjoyed working on these projects between classes and snowboarding. After graduation, graduate school, marriage and children we pretty much lost touch. I though of Greg one day when I was grooming my citrus trees and had and "aha! moment". I got on my computer, found Greg's address in Atlanta from our wedding registry and ordered him a Bearss lime tree from Four Winds in hope of rekindling our friendship. Greg received the tree five or six days later, called and we have been conversing since on soil, fertilizer adn the drainage tables I made for indoor growing. I urge anyone who has had a good friend get lost in the shuffle of life to do whatever he or she can to reconnect. It is amazing to me that something so small and simple as a lime tree could be a catalyst to rekindling a very important friendship.
O. McGee, Salt Lake City, UT
Over ten years ago I ordered my first Meyer lemon tree from Four Winds Growers. A firend in California had a blood orange and a Meyer lemon in his backyard and that 'competitive' desire to have one in Dansas raised its head. The potted trees have been a blessing. In the summer the trees enjoy the breezes under a grape arbor and in the fall they are re-potted and placed int he solarium and the new blossoms perfume the air. I've just planted Meyer lemons in pots in Mexico and am looking forward to them becoming a 'part of the garden family.'
Kent S, Eastborough, KS
My name is Will. I am 14 and have a passion for growing plants. My interest in citrus strees started when I got a seed catalog from Gurneys....then I checked online garden guides including Dave's Garden, whre Four Winds Growers received glowing reviews. I live in Southern Indiana and knew that I'd have to take the tree indoors so I did more research and decided on an Improved Meyer lemon tree, which is said to be one of the easiest to grow indoors. But the shipping cost seemed too high so I gave up for awhile. About a month later I was at Grandma's house, my general source of garden wisdom, and started to talk about citrus trees. She seemed interested so I told her that I was trying to buy one but couldn't afford it (yet). My dad was skeptical about citrus trees; "if they could grow'em here then why arent' they" he'd say. Against his advice I asked my grandma for one since my birthday was coming up. March 20th my tree arrived and , let me tell you, a blooming lemon tree is undoubtedly the most amazing thing I have ever pulled out of a box in my life! I carefully composed my own blend of soil for the tree (very well draining) and potted it. It looks happy and healthy under the grow light and I mist it regularly. I had thought it was foolish to hope for a flower, let alone a fruit, but now I have two beautiful little lemons and many more sweet smelling flowers on the way. Every day when I smell the flowers and see the fruit I think of warm summer days and my wonderful Grandma. And it's also nice to show my dad that he was wrong!
W.G. Morgan, Guilford, IN
We live in Utah in the high desert (approximately 6000 feet elevation), which gives us hot summers and cold winters! The seasons merge together as one at times and this Easter left us yearning to stay inside where it was warm. A family tradition of ours is to do an egg hunt outside. We were able to hide a few dozen eggs throughout our house and in our potted citrus trees for our 8-year-old son to find inside! Thank you for bridging the gap and allowing us to bring a little more sunshine and greenery inside our home this holiday season!!! --
The Miller Family, UT
We introduced 'Lemon Drop', our beloved Dwarf Meyer lemon tree, to our household in late January. I had been wanting a lemon tree for a long time and decided to browse the internet for a place to order one.
I didn't know anything about growing citrus indoors but stumbled upon Four Winds Growers and stayed on their website for a couple of hours. I read about the products they offer and then went to the testimonials. Everyone had such great things to say about the quality of their trees. I even found some reviews from customers in the Pacific Northwest, which was very helpful considering we have limited sunlight around here! I decided to order the 3 year old Improved Dwarf Meyer lemon tree and eagerly awaited its arrival. The tree arrived in great shape just as all the other reviews stated.
We got the tree planted up and found a sunny place by a window for its home. We named our tree 'Lemon Drop' and have enjoyed watching her grow. She's got lots of new leaves and several flowers now. I don't have anything particularly insightful to say about having a lemon tree other than it has increased my happiness. It's fascinating to watch the tree grow and change. the smell is sweet and lovely. I would never have guessed what an impact this plant would have on my day to day life, but it's been a welcome piece of daily conversation.
J. deMars, Tacoma, WA
From an early age, my mother and I always gardened together. Every Mother's Day weekend we would go to our favorite nurseries to pick out plants for the season. Mother's Day was always spent planting our new beauties. She taught me everything that she knew about flowers, plant care and so on. It is something that I have always loved doing, and appreciate the fact that working in the garden was one of our most special bonding times. We still continue our Mother's Day tradition to this day.
Last year, my young daughter, husband and I finally moved out of our cramped apartment and into a house. Our daughter is growing so big so fast, we needed more space. With that newfound space, my desire to garden came back ten-fold. Our new yard is large and had been neglected for quite some time, so there was plenty to do. Once we got things tidied up, I couldn't wait to start introducing my daughter, Audrey to the wonderful world of gardening. I enjoy growing things that not everyone has, and since I use lemons and limes in a lot of my cooking, growing citrus just seemed like a natural fit. Last year my husband bought me my first citrus tree, an Improved Meyer Lemon, for Mother's Day. It was the perfect gift! Soon after, I found a Bearss Lime at a local nursery. Living in St. Louis and having pretty cold winters, citrus trees are just not commonly found here, so I couldn't believe my fantastic find. Then I just felt like we needed one more. That's when I found Four Winds. I ordered your Variegated Pink Lemon tree, and it blew my other two out of the water! I truly wish I had found your company sooner. But now I know!
Anyway, last summer was extremely hot for a long period of time. Despite this our citrus trees flourished in their brightly colored containers. We don't have a greenhouse, so when the temperature dropped we brought them indoors and set them next to our southern facing picture window. We did have some leaf drop throughout the winter, but I expected it. It did, however, make my husband a bit nervous. Taking heed of your instructions, I did not water a whole lot so as not to keep their soil too moist. Then to our surprise, we had flowers in February, which then turned into a few tiny fruits. We couldn't believe it!! This renewed Audrey's interest in the plants. And then came spring... Our plants are back outside now. They have budded out and are about to explode with new foliage. We are so excited to watch them grow, and for our fruit to ripen this season. Audry loves tending to the trees, especially the pink lemon because it is "her" tree, and her size. We love getting outside every day and seeing what's new with our plants. Audrey's newest obsession is watering, or as she calls it, "spraying the plants." She can't get enough of it, and I can't get enough of watching her get excited about gardening. It's a "Proud Momma" moment for sure, one that reminds me of how my mother probably felt about me way back when. It is nice that my mother lives nearby and can also see this enthusiasm in Audrey too, and know that she helped put it there. So, I just want to say 'Thank You' Four Winds, for helping add to the excitement of my whole family. We will be adding to our citrus 'grove' and when we do, we will definitely come back to you!
J. Reich, St. Louis, MO
The first 23 years of my life I lived in big cities. The closest thing to a real plant my mom had was a plastic houseplant. My parents never even grew a tomato plant. I knew nothing about nature, the woods or how things grew. When I went to college I took an urban farming class. On the first day the instructor took us outside to look at the plants. I happened to be the first one to step out. He directed us to meet at the strawberry plants. I realized I had no idea whatsoever how strawberries grew. Should I look on trees or bushes or perhaps underground? Not knowing where to go, I stepped aside to let someone else lead the way and to avoid embarrassing myself!
Yet in the midst of such disconnection from nature, I had a vague memory of going to Golden Gate Park when I was 7 and enjoying the beautiful scent of the orange blossoms there. We soon moved to the east coast and I didn’t smell citrus blossoms for decades. Meanwhile, I moved to Oregon and eventually I learned how to garden and even how to grow strawberries!! Then to my unending delight, I visited Hawaii, and once again smelled the intoxicating fragrance of citrus blossoms. It stirred some deep longing in me.
More than roses, more than jasmine, more than daphnes or any other wonderfully fragrant plants I already grew, I longed for the unmistakable wafting of citrus. Then, a friend told me of someone nearby who successfully grew citrus outdoors here. I was intrigued. And since I had heard that growing them indoors was likely to bring spider mites, I was worried I’d be spraying all my 30 other houseplants for mites - a rather daunting venture.
I spent countless hours reading citrus books and learning about the most hardy varieties. I found a couple Meyer’s lemons and a Satsuma locally. Soon I had a small custom made citrus green house built. THEN, thanks to the internet, I discovered Four Winds! I ordered a kumquat and a calamondin. They were simply gorgeous. Because of limited space, I promised myself I would not buy anymore. But somehow, inexplicably, another kumquat and Bouquet de Fleurs arrived at my doorstep.
They all made it through their first winter - the coldest one in all the years I have lived here in Eugene! I bought some old fashion Christmas light to keep them warm on the coldest nights. While they weren’t as happy as they would have been indoors, they did survive, bloomed freely this spring and I had kumquats for much of the winter. Everyone who visited was amazed!
I have a rental on my land. To get to it, requires walking directly by the citrus greenhouse. Last November, I was showing the rental. On the way over, the woman stopped at the greenhouse and exclaimed “Oh my God! You have kumquats. I love citrus. I always knew if I found a rental that had citrus, I would move in. I don’t even need to see the actual place!” Her husband and I finally persuaded her that she really ought to look at the house. I sent her home with a kumquat. She moved in shortly thereafter.
But most importantly, I have the pleasure of knowing that young 7 year old girl, who was so estranged from nature, grew into the woman who lives on 40 acres of trees, has a huge garden and has the fragrance she once loved so much right outside her doorstep.
J. Edwards, Eugene, OR
This is just a simple story. I got my Meyer lemon over Spring Break and immediately fell in love with him! I named him Ichabod and he took nicely to my huge south-facing window inthe living room. Now that it is spring and the Missori temps are consistently warm, he is sporting new growth on the deck and keeping the impatiens company. Just my pride and joy!
Juli B, Ozark, M0
When I was a teenager in the DC area in the early 70's, our church was building a new building and the members were asked to come up with fundraising ideas. My father tracked down a friend of a friend he'd heard of, someone who knew the citrus industry well -- 'what was that mandarin they were talking about?' And so it was that Dad commissioned Joe to drive a truck to Florida to pick up a load of Page oranges and deliver them to our doorstep. Everybody was given the delivery time and date: pick up your boxes fast, and especially if the weather was bad, don't let them freeze. Nobody else we know of had ever heard of such a thing much less tasted such a thing and there was nothing like it. As word got out, more and more people wanted some of that fantastic fruit -- Dad got asked to do that every year, long after the fundraiser was over, and he and Joe did. And so Page oranges became one of the great food memories of my growing up: fabulous, juicy, rare fruit and appreciative friends showing up in happy anticipation. Then a big freeze decimated the groves. Most were not replanted. Joe passed suddenly and we grieved him and we never got to eat a Page again. I had to have some trees removed last month that were threatening my fenceline here in California, where I've lived for some time now, and suddenly I had a bright airy spot in nmy yard. A chance comment from a friend led to the sudden flood of memories and the realization that hey -- I could grow Pages! My Own! And have them again and invite my 84 and 88 year old parents to fly in for Christmas to pick them off hte tree themselves for the first time ever... I tell you. I have never been so excited about a plant. I ordered immediately, a three year old size; after all, my parents arent getting any younger. It came a month ago. I palnted it where I can watch it grow right out the window here as I type. I cannot begin to tell you what a joy it is to see it there. I have never loved a tree quite so intensely. I cannot thank you enough.
A Hyde, Palo Alto, CA
I've known about Four Winds Nursery since 1998 when I contacted them to see if Mission High School's PTA could 'borrow' several trees as decoration for graduation ceremonies. Because the nursery was right down the street, they were a neighbor to the school, and generously supported our request. Fast forward all of these years - my Mission graduate is engaged and willl be getting married outdoors in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Because they are not able to use candles in a unity ceremony, we came up with the idea of using a lemon tree. The parents of the bride and groom, as well as any other attendees who wish, will add soil to the tree during the unity ceremony, to represent the solid foundation which led the young couple to their wedding day, and continued support in the future. The bride and groom will water the tree, symbolizing the commitment to nourish each other and their future children. The tree will be planted at the home that they will establish after the wedding, so that they can enjoy it over the years as a constant reminder of their commitment through the bitter and the sweet, the ups and downs of life. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". We're very excited for the big day and we know this new twist of a unity tree will be a memorable one.
S Collison, Fremont, CA
Wow, the citrus came in today, healthy, fresh & we are excited to plant them soon. My Grandfather would have been so happy to know there are still good growers out there who take pride in their business just like he did in Italy. He taught me so much, and I know he is looking down saying the same thing. "Thank you Four Winds Growers" for sending us such a nice bunch of citrus and fig tree! Tantto Grazie
C D'Agostino, Palm Desert, CA
We live in the Cape Fear coastal region of eastern North Carolina where the summers are hot and humid, and winter evening temperatures can occasionally drop below 25 degrees. Five years ago, we decided to ordered a dwarf Owari Satsuma mandarin and Minneola Tangelo from Four Winds, because we loved both varieties in Southern California where we previously lived. Our California trees, from which we enjoyed copious amounts of luscious fruit, were also purchased from Four Winds over 20 years ago. So far, after five years we haven't had any problems growing our two trees outdoors next to the house, aside from making sure they are protected during the few nights when winter temperatures fall below 28 degrees. To do this, we cover both trees with Agribon frost cloth and place small electric heaters with inline thermostats under each tree. (When the trees were smaller, a single light bulb did the trick.) We also monitor the outside temperature during cold nights with a $20 wireless temperature gauge. So far, our trees have experienced no other problems during the rest of the year. Unlike our other deciduous fruit trees, the citrus are practically maintenance-free and seem to thrive here in the hot summers and sandy soil. Also, we've noticed that insects and animals tend to leave them alone. This year we plan to purchase two more dwarf trees so we can enjoy fresh citrus fruit throughout the year.
J Spalding, Southport, NC
I have had a dwarf Washington Navel Orange tree now for close to 10 years. It is a container plant and was in my office for several years with very little success with flowering. I later found out that I didn't have adequate light. I moved it out of the office and needed a sheltered "home" for it. A neighbor had a small greenhouse and over the winter, the tree really took off and even fruited. I then bought a small greenhouse for the tree and have over the years learned how to take care of my "baby". I've lost one or two crops because of uneven watering, but now have a moisture meter and maintain a regular watering schedule. There are some beautiful oranges on the tree right now that are starting to show some ripening color. I've also got a small lime tree in the greenhouse with fruit on it and now it's time to add a lemon tree. It is so much fun watching and nurturing the trees.
M Daley, Baldwin, MD
New England isn't exactly citrus country. When I was just four or five, I remember going to a neighbor's house with my parents, and in the foyer this family had a large lemon tree. I loved the smell of the tree, and when my husband and I bought our first house two years ago, I knew just what we needed for our living room. I got my Meyer lemon tree from Four Winds Growers in November 2011. It sits in front of a large southwest-facing sliding door. Right now, the sun rises and 7 am and sets at 4 pm and temperatures outside can get down to below zero with the wind chill. But my tree stays safe and warm indoors, and ekes by on some extra "sun" from a growing light. Our very first crop of lemons was ready just in time for Thanksgiving this year. I made a grand total of three different lemon cheesecakes for all the family celebrations - they were a hit! "I can't believe how much better this tastes than lemons from the store," my husband said. He's right. Instead of a hard, waxy shell, these lemons are sticky and fragrant and oozing juice. I worry about my tree right now in the winter - some of the leaves are yellowing and falling. But new shoots are growing, too, and it's flowering. I'm sure once the sun comes out in the spring the tree will be happier! It's too bad you can't take a tree on vacation to Florida...
K Gargolinski, Holden, MA
I live in Wisconsin and I was having a pretty bad case of the winter blahs bordering on cabin fever when I ran into a friend of mine who often offers good inspiration. I was whining a bit about my lack of...well...life, energy, inspiration, etc. We commiserated for a while. I complained that I was losing my edge of being the "when life hands me lemons I make lemonade" girl as I've been dealing with the health concerns of my new husband. The conversation turned to my friend's dwarf citrus trees and a spark flared immediately! "I must have one!" I thought right away. They are small trees, but produce regular sized fruit. Amazing! I could grow lemons in my own home and then make actual lemonade. HA on life! HA to my husband's disease that's dragging us down! I went home and researched Four Winds Growers right away as my friend suggested. Alas, it was out of my price range, of course (stupid medical bills). But why not hint drop...my birthday was only a few short months away. My husband is a great gift giver, but even great gift givers need hints. He already had my present picked out I found. Oh well. Maybe another time. Turns out my mother-in-law asked for a tip for a present for me and he shared this. She wanted something special to acknowledge my loyalty and love thorough these rough times. Which now makes my tree all the more special. And all the more a FAMILY tree. I can't wait to make lemonade! I've named my tree Aida, as in, "Thanks for the lemon Aida." And HA, I'm back! Thank you Four Winds Growers! I'm ready for some more life. Bring on the lemons! I'm ready now!
B Wilken, Mondovi, WI
I didn't care much for citrus until I was twenty years old. Born and raised in Ohio, citrus was under-ripe/store bought and so the flavors weren't anything to be excited about. I married my high school sweetheart shortly after he enlisted in the USMC. Whisked away to the other side of the country, I found myself in southern California- new wife with no family or friends until a sweet couple in our church invited us over for lunch to their property. My first experience picking fresh citrus was a blood orange (which I'd never heard of let alone tasted) and eating it right there in their grove was truly an unforgettable experience. The warm sunshine, sweet citrus flowers, and the budding friendship we kindled- these memories have followed us to every station we've been at in our military life. We are still connected with our dear friends eight years and 3 duty stations later. Blood oranges are still my favorite fruit- which I scour the produce sections every January in hopes of finding to make preserves.
S Yoder, Havelock, NC