A lemon tree may seem an odd choice for a baby gift, yet you have to admit, it is different and unique! However, you may be wondering, ‘is a lemon tree appropriate?’ I think so.
Many people send plants, flowers or gift baskets to the hospital or home to commemorate a baby’s birth. Trees are sometimes planted to mark the event. It is so amazing to say to your child years later ‘we got that tree when you were born. It was just a twig and look at it now!’ My lemon tree suggestion is just a variation on that tree theme. The big difference is that the lemon tree should be producing fruit when you have that conversation with your child.
4 Great Reasons to Give a Lemon Tree:
A child’s lemon tree can provide almost unlimited teachable moments. Here are some topics that quickly come to my mind: gardening, pruning, nature, energy (make a battery with lemon), butterfly life-cycle & host plants, nutrition, cooking (lemonade, lemon meringue pie, lemon chicken, etc.), household economy, household cleaning, entrepreneurship, plant natural history, plant/flower/fruit anatomy, aromatherapy, natural remedies… Did I say unlimited?
Lemonade Day has a short but rich history of inspiring and empowering children to think creatively and giving them real life experience as an entrepreneur. A child’s lemon tree gives both child and parent inspiration and good reason to follow this path.
Nutrition & Health Benefits
Children don’t always like to eat the foods that promote good digestive function and thus constipation is a not an uncommon issue. Lemon aids in digestion and helps the colon work better. Thus, lemon and real lemon lemonade can help control or even prevent diarrhea and/or constipation. Lemon also helps the body cleanse itself of toxins. A parent need only to look at the ingredient labels on the foods their children like to find a host of things that they can’t even pronounce let alone believe are good for their children. Of course, lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, an important and necessary nutrient for a healthy body & proper immune function.
Economically Smart Gift
For the money you would spend on a nice vase of flowers or gift basket from a florist you can typically buy a young lemon tree. Unlike a vase of flowers that will die or the food in a gift basket that will be eaten up in days if not mere hours and toys that will soon be outgrown, a lemon tree will give its gift of fruit, grocery savings and produce for a lemonade stand for many, many years. When a child’s tree reaches peak productivity, that level of productivity typically lasts 10-15 years. Most lemon trees live for 40 or more years and continue to produce fruit throughout their life, just not as prolifically.
Lemon trees perform best in low or no freeze regions. However, many varieties can be grown in ½ barrels and maintained in large shrub form with pruning. Thus, in colder regions when the winter’s first freeze arrives your lemon tree can be moved to a protected location with strong natural or artificial light, such as an atrium, greenhouse or garage. In the spring, your potted lemon tree can then be moved back outside again.
Some of us long to give meaningful, inspired and unique gifts. The gift of a lemon tree to commemorate a birth is just such a gift. It is a gift both parent and child can enjoy and benefit from for more than just a few days, but rather, a lifetime.
Author: Dee Lusk, PhD
1. Walheim, Lance. 1996. Citrus, Complete Guide To Selecting & Growing More Than 100 Varieties For California, Arizona, Texas, The GulfCoast & Florida. Ironwood Press.
For more information & registration, Google: Lemonade Day