HERE’S WHY We Need 12,000 Lemon Trees in San Francisco

lemon-map12,000 Lemon trees will provide all the lemons used by city residents in a year

San Francisco will become the first City in North America to be self-sufficient in a tree crop

Producing food locally is an important step in reducing our energy-footprint and affecting climate change




Cole Hardware provides a 10% discount on Meyer Lemons to JOT participants- just ask for it.

The San Francisco Food Bank estimates that one out of four San Franciscans, a total of 200,000 people, struggle to feed themselves daily.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are critical components for a healthy diet, but for many it is a challenge to afford them or find them close by.  San Francisco can become more self-sufficient in meeting many fresh fruit and vegetable needs and set an example for other cities that even dense cities can improve food sustainability.

The Just One Tree (JOT) project has selected the Meyer Lemon as an ideal crop to illustrate our self-reliance objective.  By planting lemon trees in our city’s 150,000 back yards or balconies, public parks, and other public lands, we can meet the per capita consumption of 3 pounds of lemons per year with only 12,000 trees.  The Department of Public Works estimates that there are already 3,000-4,000 lemon trees throughout the City and JOT has registered over 1400 of them to date in 2 years.  We plan to register all backyard trees and encourage other residents to join the campaign and plant a tree to help our City reach the goal of 12,000.

In addition to the sustainability component of the project, JOT’s further objectives are to: 1) to promote the health values of fresh fruit and the many uses of lemons in particular; 2)reduce waste by encouraging sharing of excess produce (SF Food Bank and various food pantries);  3)  promote the development of small-scale business opportunities with the creation of added-value fruit products ; 4)  provide vocational training in gardening and fruit tree care for volunteers.

Who We Are  is a project of Urban Resource Systems, a nonprofit established in San Francisco in 1981 with the mission of promoting greater urban self-reliance in natural resource management.  We are currently an all-volunteer operation with a dedicated (and long-term) Board of Directors.  URS projects are managed by Dr. Isabel Wade, founder and President.  Dr. Wade has initiated numerous urban greening projects in San Francisco and elsewhere, including Friends of the Urban Forest, the National AIDS Memorial Grove, California ReLeaf, and the Neighborhood Parks Council.