We have two citrus trees in our yard, neither of which we planted.
The first tree is in the woods at the edge of our yard. It is full of lovely oranges. They are about the size of a baseball, a gorgeous shade of . . . orange, and slightly sweeter than a lemon. It is a sour orange tree. The juice can be used for marinades and marmalade, but you probably wouldn't want a glass of it with your breakfast.
The second tree is a scraggly little thing snuggled next to a larger tree at the edge of our pond. We could tell it was a citrus tree because of its flowers, but never saw fruit of any consequence. It does have a healthy array of thorns which have made their presence known numerous times. Encounters with the thorns made it quite tempting to remove this "weed", but we didn't.
This year the scraggly tree was full of fruit, but they were small and pale. Hmmm . . . small, pale fruit -- could it be? I grabbed a couple of them and took them to the kitchen for an experiment.
A friend of ours has a very pampered key lime tree. He keeps it safe and warm and makes sure nothing will harm it. He had a bumper crop this year and shared his limes with us.
I took out one of his limes and placed the fruit from my tree next to it. Same size, same color . . . I got a knife and cut them open. They looked the same. I squeezed juice from each into glasses and tasted. Hooray! I have a key lime tree!
Here are the limes I harvested from my tree. (That's a quarter in front of the bowl.)
What have I learned from this? When life gives you thorns, make key lime pie!!!