Almost all of the fruit trees that I encounter are or were neglected to some degree.
Many were planted a long time ago by someone who was able to maintain them at the time, and perhaps for many years, but then relocated, passed away, or just got too elderly as the trees grew and required more work.
Many were planted by those who simply enjoy gardening around their homes, and wanted to grow some fresh fruit, but were not aware of how intensive the maintenance of most of the fruit trees is, or how to execute such maintenance properly.
Many were planted by so-called ‘gardeners’ or so-called ‘landscapers’ who had no intention of actually ‘maintaining’ them, or believed that they could ‘maintain’ them with motorized hedge shears and a blower . . . just like they ‘maintain’ everything else.
There is a young but nicely productive ‘Eureka’ lemon tree at work. I would not say that it is neglected. Someone has been maintaining it well since it was installed. However, I remind others at work to take some of the lemons because the tree gets overloaded with otherwise unappreciated and unused fruit.
The tree is strategically located right outside of one of the big cafeteria kitchens, so that those who work in the kitchen could use the fruit. The kitchen probably uses more lemons that the still young tree could produce, but does not seem to use any from the tree.
While dumping greenwaste from the kitchen onto the big compost piles, I noticed this labeled but unused lemon. I can not help but wonder why lemons from my tree aren’t good enough, and why this particular lemon wasn’t good enough either. How many of us nowadays would even recognize a lemon tree, or appreciate the fruit that it produces?