Hi everyone. I planted a seed from a lemon 22 years ago and It grew into this incredible 8’ tall lemon tree. It’s my baby and I love it. Every year we bring it out to the backyard and it fills with lush new leaves and brings me joy to just look at it.
It’s tried to give me fruit 3 times- always when it’s dormant inside my house in the winter- and never succeeded. They are tiny little lemons…
1) Can anyone advise me on what to do to help it bear fruit?
2) should I cut it back a bit more than I usually do, and when is a good time to do that?
3) do they have a life span and if so what should I do to prolong it?
Wow, that is a good sized tree! A healthy lemon tree grown in the ground lives for approximately 50 years but can survive even longer under good conditions. Your container grown tree has a similar life span, so at 22 years old it is getting to middle age. By chance, in the past, we have had several questions about lemon trees. Here is one with lots of information about caring for your tree.
You can further information on growing lemon trees in containers in the next link. Note what they say about watering citrus plants. Your tree may not be getting enough water to form proper fruit. The third link gives a number of reasons for premature fruit drop most of which are related to environmental issues, like sudden draft, drought etc. Smaller varieties like Meyer Lemons produce more reliably than the regular lemon trees.
There is a good demonstration on youtube showing how to prune a container lemon tree. Look up “Pruning Meyer Lemons in Containers”.