Can I take your trees anywhere?

No, the same rules exist for you as they do for us. Citrus plant material cannot be moved from Florida to any other citrus producing state. These include Arizona, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Texas.  We also cannot send plants to Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. This is a USDA rule, not our rule!

Why can’t I pick out my own tree?

All citrus nurseries that propagate trees (as opposed to buy them from another nursery) are held to strict growing standards that include fully enclosed greenhouses with insect screen, double entrances and employee decontamination/sanitation procedures.  Additionally, each nursery is inspected every 30 days by the Florida Department of Agriculture.  in our case, because we are a certified interstate shipper, we are also inspected by the USDA every 30 days. If any disease is found, we would be quarantined for a minimum of 90 days. Our business and our employees can’t afford this risk, so we have chosen to limit who goes in and out of the nursery. We hope you understand our position. If you want to see a tree before you buy, please check out our photo gallery. These pictures are representative of our product. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office for more information. 352-793-6861 or info@briteleaf.com.

What’s the difference in standard and dwarf trees?

When you receive our trees, the standard and dwarf grafted trees are both 26 – 30″ tall.  The difference is that the dwarf tree is grafted onto a rootstock that limits the mature size of the tree to around 8 – 9 feet tall and wide.  The dwarf tree is also more suited to container growing because the rootstock will not outgrow the container as quickly as a standard grafted rootstock.  Most standard rootstock trees will mature at between 12 – 15 feet tall and wide.

Why are Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery Trees better?
  • Our trees are 26 – 30″ tall and about one year old.
  • We grow our trees in the same pot that we grow commercial trees. It is a 4 inch square pot that is 14″ tall.
  • The pot is equivalent to a “1 gallon” capacity.
  • This “sleeve” is perfect for shipping because you get the entire root ball and soil rather than “bare root.”
  • Getting the soil with the tree greatly increases your success with your new citrus tree.
  • We grow a standard size, budded tree.
  • We also offer dwarf rootstocks for some varieties.
  • We now offer a rooted cutting/bush type plant for some varieties.
Can I send a tree as a gift?

Absolutely! We will include a card with your personalized note with any gift order. We will send the receipt to you, not the gift recipient.

How tall is the tree I am purchasing?

Standard and Dwarf grafted trees are approximately 26 – 30″ from the soil line to the top of the tree.

Rooted Cutting/Bushes are 12 – 15″ from the soil line to the top of the plant.


Rooted Cutting / Bushes
Standard and Dwarf Trees
How old is the tree I am purchasing?

Our grafted trees are approximately 1 year old.

Our rooted cuttings are approximately 6 months old.

How long before I will have citrus fruit?

Fruit production depends on age of tree and care. Typically, our trees will bear a few pieces of fruit within two years after you receive it. The amount of fruit will increase each year. Some citrus varieties are more prolific (kumquats, limes, calamondins), so you will have more fruit in the first year.

Don’t forget to “feed” your trees so they will feed you!

To see when you can expect to harvest your citrus fruit, see the harvest chart on the education page.

Harvest Chart

How much space do I need to plant a citrus tree?

We recommend planting standard trees 15 feet apart. You can plant closer, but pruning will be needed at some point.

Dwarf trees can be planted 8 feet apart if planted in the ground.  If you choose a container, then we recommend a pot that is at least 14″ deep and around 16″ in diameter.  A 10 gallon equivalent works great.

How big will the trees get?

Dwarf – up to 8 feet tall in the ground, less if kept in a pot.

All others – 12 – 15 feet tall in the ground, less if kept in a pot (more pruning will be required to keep in pot).

When do I prune?

Citrus trees respond well to pruning. You can do it almost anytime. It is best to prune when the tree is not blooming to avoid cutting off future fruit production.

Pruning Guide

Where do I get help?

Your local extension agent or Master Gardener is a great resource. The online community is also a wealth of knowledge. Try Dave’s Garden or GardenWeb.

Check Out Our Education Page

Are your trees disease free?

Yes. We grow our trees according to state regulations inside enclosed structures. We are inspected by the Division of Plant Industry and USDA every 30 days. Our budwood sources are on-site and also inspected every 30 days. Budwood source trees are tested twice a year for citrus greening and various other diseases. We take every precaution to prevent disease in our nursery. This is one of the reasons we don’t allow visitors inside the nursery.

Why do you grow citrus trees in a greenhouse?

Many people ask why you have to use a greenhouse when in sunny Florida. State of Florida CFR 5B-62 requires that all citrus nursery trees be produced inside enclosed, insect-free structures. Any citrus nursery that is in business in Florida is legally required to have a greenhouse with screen on all sides with a “double entrance” and positive air pressure to prevent insects entering the structure. In our case, we also relocated our nursery from Hillsborough County (heavy citrus production area) to Sumter County (no commercial citrus) to further protect from diseases and insects. Prior to January 1, 2007, most citrus nursery trees in Florida were grown outside.

What is Citrus Greening?

Citrus greening is a disease caused by a bacterium that can infect most citrus varieties and some ornamental plants. It was first detected in the US in August 2005 in south Florida. It causes the tree to produce small, unprocessable fruit. The tree will eventually die. To learn more about citrus greening, Download PDF.

What is Citrus Canker?

Citrus canker is bacterial disease. It is contagious and can be spread easily by windy rainstorms. The 2004 hurricanes in Florida spread the disease throughout the state. Citrus canker affects the leaves, stems and fruit. It is a scab like lesion with a yellow halo. If you suspect Citrus canker, have your local extension agent look at your trees. To learn more about citrus canker, Download PDF.

What is a “Giant Finger Lime”?

giantfingerlimeThe Giant Finger Lime is “new”. I have 2 trees that I use as my budwood source. These trees were obtained through the Florida Department of Agriculture’s budwood facility as Australian Finger Limes. When my trees started fruiting the fruit did not look like it should. So, I contacted the state to research the issue. It turns out that the trees they had supplied me with were a bud sport off of an Australian Finger Lime. They were unaware of the difference until somebody’s tree produced fruit. Faced with many nurseries having propagated trees with this budwood, they decided to give it a new name. The fruit inside looks just like all the finger limes that I have seen. The outside shape is all that is different. Hence my description on the website as being similar.

Why can’t you ship trees to CA, TX, AZ, LA?

Due to the widespread occurrence of Citrus Canker and Citrus Greening (Huanglongbing), the USDA placed the entire state of Florida under quarantine. It is against the law to ship or move trees outside the state unless you receive USDA certification and comply with the USDA compliance agreement. It is still against regulations to ship trees or citrus plant material to California, Texas, Arizona and Louisiana. This regulation exists to protect the citrus industry in those states. Likewise, it is illegal to bring citrus plant material into Florida from anywhere!