Hedgerow fruit

I have been told I have quinces in my hedge, but I remember them being a lot bigger and on a tree when I was a child.  These are greenish small irregular apple shaped things, close to the branch they have grown from.  So many conflicting articles online that I don't know what to do with them.  Hope someone has some advice?


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    There are two types of "quince", Anny. There is the true quince, Cydonia, which is a small fruit tree and fhere is the Japanese qunice, Chaenomeles, which is an ornamental shrub.

    Either could have been sown into a hedge by a bird.

    Are we talking suburban garden type hedge or country hedge?

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,804

    Picture of the fruit would help too.

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    If they are greenish and apple shaped and close to the branch, I'd say that they are most likely Chaenomeles, the ornamental shrub. Did the plant have pretty little flowers?

    If they are fuzzy and more pear shaped and widely spaced I think they are true quinces.

  • Both are still good to make jam from... I scour the neighbourhood for people with quince in there hedges knock on doors and collect lmao..all those who contribute get a jar of quince jelly when its cooked....

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    This is my quince, if your fruit looks like this then a quince you have!


    Stacey, shame you don't live near me as I have a lot of fruit going begging!! image


  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    Wondering whether to buy a quince (meaning a cydonia) as well as an apple tree this autumn. What conditions does yours like, 4thPanda? I can't seem to find any help about site etc on the main GW site....

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Hi DianaW,

    There are a few varieties of Cydonia. Not all are available from any one supplier. Vranja seems to be the most common but I went from

    Cydonia Meeche's Prolific
    Cydonia Serbian Gold

    . Because it seems they'll do better a bit further north. My Meeches Prolific didn't set any fruit. I didn't think about pollinating it myself until too late, however the Serbian Gold was fully pollinated by my trusty paintbrush and I've got a good crop of small but very aromatic quinces. 

    Same principle applies to Japanese Quince Chaenomeles, I selected varieties for fruit, i.e., 

    Chaenomeles japonica Cido
    Chaenomeles speciosa Nivalis
    Chaenomeles speciosa 'Pink Lady'

    I've got some gorgeously scented fruit to add to my crabapple jelly even in their first year. 

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Oh, I should have said, re: Cydonia conditions. They need a long growing season so unless you live in the South better to grow them on a south facing wall. But I live in County Durham and have one as a standard. It's its first year so we'll have to see how it does on the whole. 

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    I'll be honest Diana, mine was there when we moved in. It's in our front garden and get on with itself. I get lots of fruit and birds love to live in it. It has got a bit out of control and will need a trim soon image I'm in the South East of England and I believe my soil is a trifle clay-ey! 

    Not sure that really helps image

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    Thanks, both - that helps a lot, especially for Jim's advice on varieties.

    I'm in north London, on clay soil, so that should be fine. I successfully grew a chaenomeles (no idea which one) for some years in my first garden, a mile or so away, and it must have self-pollinated as I had fruit from it in my later years there. I'm going in for more fruit in this slightly bigger garden and thought that I'd aim for a "real" quince this time, as I have one ornamental chaenomeles already.

    The space where I'd like to try a cydonia is on the south side of a 2-metre high fence; it's probably been wasted on the shrubs I've had there until now!

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Oh, you're lucky, I'm sure you'll have no trouble growing a Cydonia in London. I can't wait to try my first crop. Keepers nursery has the biggest selection of varieties and are very reasonable. The link thingy isn't work so here it is long



    Let us know how you go on. image

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,804

    We live in a very cold part of England (same isotherm as Newport which has recorded the lowest temps in England over the last few years) We have no South facing walls (no wallls with soil at the base) We have most of the avaliable Chaenomeles and they all (except for some reason  C. j. Nivalis) produce lots of fruit. Never could tell the difference in taste from the true Quince.

    Our Cydonia Queeches Prolific has had 1 fruit on it in 5 years, despite flowering well and is a martyr to Black spot. I think, as said, it is just too cold here for it. Sad really.

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    Thanks, Jim: the Keepers site is a real find. Much more informative than the other nursery sites I've looked at while shopping online for the new fruit trees I want to put in. My back garden is starting to feel more like an orchard with some flowering plants than the ornamental garden I started here 20 years ago but it makes up for my relative lack of success with the few vegetables I've tried.

    (Glad to see that chaenomeles thrive where cydonia don't, which increases the options for gardeners in different conditions.)

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    You're welcome. And the Chaenomeles are easy from cuttings and will fruit the year after so they're a really boon for jelly makers. I recently made some crabapple jelly from Red Lantern which is a wonderfully aromatic crab anyway but added some Chaenomeles. Wow, I can't stop eating it. image

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...I also like that Keepers site very much... I find the way you can key in your preferred rootstock and it finds all those available, and then search for appropriate pollinators to go with it...  I have my eye on a couple of apples, one called Herefordshire Russet and the other Charles Ross.... on M9 for container growing.... I've grown M9 in the ground before and I realise Mr Don suggested using a more vigorous rootstock recently, for containers, but I still think M9 is best for me... as they may get planted later on... it's fun searching these fruits out I think...it's a pity we cannot do a taste test, as there are so many I've not heard of that I might prefer...image

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    Just committed to a Cydonia Isfahan (can't resist the thought of non-gritty, not solely culinary quinces) and an Egremont Russet from Keepers. A really helpful website and such a splendid (if tantalising) range to choose from!

    Looking forward to seeing them sometime this winter, after I've got their planting sites clear....

    Maybe I'll take a cutting from my current rather sluggish chaenomeles and see if it does better somewhere else in the garden, too.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    I was very tempted by that one too, pardon the pun, the bit about not liking wet put me off though after last 'summer'. image

  • DianaWDianaW Posts: 57

    You didn't share the drought we had in July, then? Just keeping the pots watered during that period exhausted the underground rainwater storage tank I got installed last year before we had any more rain. I've never been so glad of having done any other home improvement project, tiresome as it was to get done!

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