ARIZONA: Citrus Trees

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    Lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange trees line many older streets in Phoenix, Tucson and other small desert towns. Along the way of urban sprawl and development, someone in their infinite wisdom thought it would be great idea to plant citrus trees along major roads, side streets and even in front yards. We have citrus trees growing out of our ears down here. So, now that you know that you can find these anywhere in several of Arizon’as cities, onto the big question. Can I pick them? While there is no legal yes/no answer to that question, except for private property front yards, my advice is pick away at the street lined fruit, but knock on the door and ask first for front yard fruit. My experience is, that people are often more than willing to share citrus. Many won’t take the time to sell it, won’t enough of it, and can barely give it away. My grandmother harvests her grapefruit, puts it in boxes, puts a free sign on it and it’s all gone the next day. She also donates much of it to a food shelter in Mesa. Be forwarned, citrus comes in many forms, some of it is good to eat as is, some of it is only good for juicing. You’ll know when you open it up. 😯

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