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Pruning quince

I have what is supposed to be a Varanje Quince tree which produces around 3/4 ft of growth each year. I read that they do not like to be pruned but I have until last year always pruned it in Jan./Feb., due to the mild Cornish climate. Last year I pruned it in August hoping that would reduce the amount of growth and increase the fruit but it hasn't made much difference. I am going to prune it again in the next week or two. It makes a lot of very thin twiggy growth which I have always left as sometimes fruit is set on the tips of the twigs. The tree is getting congested in the centre now so I am thinking of having a major clear out of thin growth, also reducing the height substantially as last year I left half of the growth to be pruned in Jan. as an experiment, again not much difference.
The tree only has 2/3 fruit each year which does not grow to full size. I think lack of fruit is due to the blossom being stripped from the tree by the Spring gales we have, the tree is thick with flowers every year. Does anyone have any tips for pruning to help keep the size down and increase fruit production? it is supposed to be on dwarfing stock, other than what I am doing already. I know quince are grafted onto pear stock. The lowest bottom branches are only 3/4 ft from the ground, the crown is about 16ft high.
 I am wondering if I have an incorrectly named tree as the fruit does not look Varanje shaped to me, more apple shaped than pear shaped but it is difficult to tell with only immature fruit. 

Posts

  • ShepherdsBarnShepherdsBarn DevonPosts: 343
    I find our quince tree to be very hit and miss, @Joyce Goldenlily. We have never pruned it - except to remove the suckers and it has never given us a prolific quantity of fruit ... the most we have ever had was about 25 fruits; sometimes about a dozen if we are lucky but none for the last 2 years. I have just looked on the RHS website https://www.rhs.org.uk/fruit/quince/grow-your-own and they suggest feeding it - I confess that I have never done this, so will try that next year. 
    We live on the Devon/Cornwall border and the tree was planted in 2008. It is about 12-15 ft tall. It is VERY windy here and the tree is a bit windblown.
    Sorry I cannot really be any of help.
    🙂
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,125
    I don't have a quince tree, but I do have Chaenomeles japonica growing against a south facing wall, in a very windy spot. It gives a lovely show of scarlet flowers in spring and most years, depending on the weather and the number of pollinators at the critical time, a decent crop of fruit that make a lovely jelly.
    Maybe a less temperamental alternative for you?
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 1,465
    Maybe feeding is the answer. I have given my tree some farm yard manure once or twice but not regularly. My garden faces South West, no walls or fences available, Cornish banks, can be extremely windy, very hot and the soil is poor and shallow. I planted the tree originally on a raised bed to give the roots more depth but again, possibly not enough. The tree was planted about 10 years ago and looked about 5 years old. It did have 2 fully grown fruit after 3/4 years. Then virtually nothing. I underplanted it with cyclamen, crocus and narcissus, the cyclamen and crocus have struggled but the narcissus grow and flower each year. So, an improved feeding regime and see what happens. The tree suffers from drought every year, dropping a lot of leaves around this time which doesn't help.

    Buttercupdays said:
    I don't have a quince tree, but I do have Chaenomeles japonica growing against a south facing wall, in a very windy spot. It gives a lovely show of scarlet flowers in spring and most years, depending on the weather and the number of pollinators at the critical time, a decent crop of fruit that make a lovely jelly.
    Maybe a less temperamental alternative for you?
    Before moving here my neighbour gave me some fruit from her Chaenomeles which I made jelly from, I was disappointed with the flavour of the jelly so didn't bother again. 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,703
    We have 2 quinces in the garden. The older one was doing very badly with leaf drop in early summer and poor pollination. This was pollarded right back to the trunk one year and new better growth came the following Spring. We didn't have any fruit that year but the following years we have had a great harvest. The "younger" one has to be pruned back this winter as it has far too many branches crossing over each other. This also gives us a great crop each year.
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 1,465
    So much for them not liking to be pruned then!
    It is so frustrating when mine has such a brilliant amount of blossom each year, it is a picture for the few days it has before being blasted by the Spring Equinox gales we have down here. My tree had a few very late flowers this year which I hoped might germinate and fruit but no such luck.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,703
    @Joyce Goldenlily in Cornwall surely your Quince should be ok. We are in the SW and yes we get frosts and they make the early flowers no good for pollinators. But others then do flower.
    Don't give up they are a great "fruit" and so understood.
  • Joyce GoldenlilyJoyce Goldenlily Posts: 1,465
    I am not worried about losing my tree, it is just the frustration of not getting any fruit on it, which is why I planted it.
    Oh my, it looks very different today. I gave it a thorough pruning yesterday. What with the leaf drop from the dry weather and my thinning and cutting back, it is half the size it was. 
    I found 5 small fruits and some new leaves growing on it. Now I have to go back and finish the job. Pick up the prunings and do a final check to see what I have missed. I gave it a good drink of several watering cans full of water as a treat.
    Then, once again, I will sit back and wait for a wonderful crop of quince next year!
    Fingers crossed.
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