The quince is a fruit tree native to Asia that produces quinces: juicy little fruit, of bitter astringent taste. Quinces can be used in the manufacturing of syrups. Some even say that the quince is used in the manufacturing process of certain pharmaceuticals. What is certain is that the quince tree is hardy, undemanding, loves the sun, and is at ease in home gardens. 

Belonging to the Rosaceae family, the quince should be planted in areas where the wind is less loaded with salt. For this reason it is mostly grown inland.

Planting a quince tree: how to proceed

In general, the quince tree grows on all types of land, provided that they do not dry out. However, it likes land less rich in limestone (8%) that is well-drained, slightly acidic, always fresh, and sheltered from the wind. Soil preparation is very important before planting the quince. Indeed, you must first clean the soil by weeding. Considering all these aspects is important in order for the tree to grow normally and for its fruit, of bitter taste, to become very tasteful. Therefore make sure that the soil is properly prepared. Planting takes place as described below. Plant the shrubs in holes distant from each other; the required distance depending on the quince’s intended use. If it’s grown for its fruit, the holes should be spaced at least 23 feet to allow the roots, which have a tendency to spread, to draw from the soil the nutrients needed for fruiting. On the other hand, if your objective is to grow purely ornamental quince trees, dig holes at intervals of 10 feet maximum. Your quince trees will grow normally, and you will be able to use its bark, which is very decorative.

Maintenance of the quince tree: what does it involve? 

At the time of planting, enrich the soil by organic manuring. Each year, feed the soil with fertilizer in spring and manure or compost in autumn. Between August and September, moisten the soil with water. This is very important for the tree’s fruiting process. Then, the spraying is done by observing the phases of plant growth, namely the bursting buds, the leaves falling in autumn, the opening of floral bouquets and the formation of young fruits. During each of these phases, spray the quince tree with substances manufactured to destroy fungi, thus preserving the trees from certain diseases. These include sclerotinia, capable of destroying flowers and mummifying fruit, and Fabraea leaf spot (Fabrae maculata), which causes the foliage to fall before maturation. Pruning the quince is not essential, however it will facilitate thinning of the plant by removing bulky leaves and misplaced young shoots.

Quince harvest 

The harvest of quinces is generally in the fall, well before maturation. At that time, fruits are 2.5 to 4.5 inches long and 2 to 3.5 inches wide. After picking, store the fruit for 2 months in a cool dark place. Others prefer to let the fruit ripen on the tree before harvesting. In fact, it all depends on the use for which they were intended. They can either be eaten raw or used in the preparation of compote, syrup or fruit paste.

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Published in Planting by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011