USDA Seizes 1,000 Personal Lemon Trees, Threatens Fed Raid

Bridget Donovan never imagined that buying a simple lemon tree three years ago would come back to haunt her.

The lemon tree was under a quarantine at the time of purchase but three years later, the USDA demanded seizure with tedious instructions for removal although there were no signs of disease.

The original article made it sound as though Donovan was glad to comply but actually she protested the USDA's intrusion. She was threatened with a search warrant and visit from the feds, if she did not comply! The USDA made 1,000 similar seizures.

The USDA, of course, will not offer reimbursement, but the company that sold the tree offered it along with an apology for the trouble.


~Health Freedoms

USDA Seizes Woman’s Lemon Tree


Bridget, the “lemon lady,” has responded and left a comment below.  It appears that the Feds were going to get this lemon tree, one way or another and threatened her with a potential SWAT raid ifshe did not comply.  Food Police thuggery at its finest.

A Wisconsin woman says she’s more than a little sour now that the U.S. government has forced her to turn over her lemon tree on the grounds that it could spread disease.

Bridget Donovan bought the tree online for $70 nearly three years ago and planted it in the yard of her Waukesha home, where she and her niece nurtured it, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

It grew and yielded lemons and seemed to be healthy.

Then she got a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Unfortunately, Meyer Lemon Tree (the seller) shipped your tree in violation of multiple quarantine laws enacted to prevent the spread of harmful plant diseases and pests,” the letter stated.

The Journal Sentinel said the tree had come from Florida, under quarantine at the time of the purchase because of diseases, and the government tracked where nursery stock had been shipped.

Hayden’s Note:

And you think your gold purchases aren’t tracked, noted and analysed?  You think your Amazon and eBay purchases aren’t carefully monitored for suspicious patterns and items?

Last week, the Journal Sentinel said, she uprooted the tree, with five unripened lemons, and put it in a trash bag, as instructed.

A USDA officer met her at the school where she works to pick up the tree.

Alyn Kiel, a spokeswoman for USDA, said about 1,000 citrus plant owners have been affected by the seizures.

Meanwhile, Meyer Lemon Tree, which lists a Georgia address, apologized and offered Donovan a free replacement tree.

“I just hope the USDA is correct in that these (replacement trees) are now compliant, and I don’t have them show up again in three years,” Donovan said. “I’ll be on a citrus watch list.”

Hayden’s Note II:

While I understand the need to contain potential diseases and safeguard our plant life, after 3 years, I believe any chance of harm would have been well passed.  They could have fined the shipper or supplier or something along those lines after such a long period, but had I been in her place, I would have informed the USDA that they needed to come out to my house and uproot it themselves, at their own expense.  This lady was a pushover.

And no bitter lemon jokes.  I’m not anti-government for the sake of being anti-government.  I simply hate the USDA and their FDA buddies and believe that they are some of the biggest jokes in all of Alphabet Agency-land.

I am the lemon tree lady. Thanks for discussing the article. While it was very lighthearted, the full situation was a bit uglier. Believe me, I pushed as hard as I could, as i don’t consider myself a pushover. The supervisor told me they were going to get this tree one way or the other, and if I refused, they would quarantine it (and she told me three times if the tree disappeared in the meantime I would be in violation), obtain a warrant, and bring federal law enforcement officers to seize it. I seriously thought about that, but I wondered what other issues I may have faced tangling with the federal government. It certainly opened my eyes as to how things work.

I really appreciate you commenting and allowing us to hear your side of the story!Well, Bridget…

While I know how most mainstream media cover (or lack thereof) the finer details of a situation, they made it sound as though you simply said, “Hey, no problem. Here’s the tree. I’ll even bring it to you!” – type of situation.

It’s a shame to hear they gave you THAT much flak over a tree. As I stated in my short editorial (…rant?), after 3 years, I believe that any risk would be minimal, if at all.

And it’s interesting how adamant they were regarding their receipt of the tree!

I suppose when the majority of Senate Bill 510 was passed, those agencies and divisions who received a boost in funding are taking it to heart – protect the food supply! At all cost! Including threatening a federal SWAT raid over a lemon tree. :-/


I know that we aren’t all in a position to tease and get tangled up with the Feds and it sounds like you did what you could, so bravo.

Thanks again for commenting and letting us hear your side!

Cheers, Kevin Hayden Founder,


USDA Seizes Woman's Lemon Tree[P11300898]&rrid=394924021


This Vinegar Rinse Is Great For Dogs With Skin Conditions