Quince

Quince (Cydonia oblonga) are remarkable fruit originating in Persia and Turkestan, and were known to the Greeks and Romans who dedicated them to Venus or Aphrodite as a symbol of love, happiness and fertility. We planted 2 different quince trees in 2010 - Vranja and Meeches Prolific. They are ornamental, medium-sized, flowering trees with pretty blossom and good autumn colour. In May or June the pink/white flowers readily form at the tips of the young Quince shoots.

Quince are grown mainly for their fruit which cannot be eaten raw but make excellent jelly or preserve. They should be left on the tree as long as possible to develop their flavour, provided there is no danger of frost. They usually ripen in late October or early November when they will be golden-coloured and aromatic. They should be stored in a cool, dark place on shallow trays without touching. Allow them to ‘mellow’ before use. They will keep for two or three months.

Light pruning is generally undertaken just after flowering. Heavy structural pruning is done in winter while the plant is dormant. Start at the base and remove all the suckering growth and any downward-facing branches. Remove any crossing limbs from the centre and any whippy growth from the top of the tree. If a branch cannot be cut with secateurs or loppers, it should be left.