Quince trees have been around for 4000 years and were often depicted in ancient paintings and found in mosaics from the ruins of Pompeii. They were found in many American gardens before the turn of the century as they are a great source of pectin.
Quince is very hard and astringent raw, but add a delicious fruity aromatic and almost spicy flavor to preserves, chutneys, pies and cobblers and give apple cider an extra punch. Display some fruit in a bowl and it will fill the air with a wonderful fruity fragrance.
The Quince tree has lush dark green , silver underneath foliage and covers itself in large light pink flowers in spring. Branches take on striking twisted form as the tree matures.
Grows to about 12 – 15 ft tall and 8 ft wide.
Quince prefers full sun ( 6 to 8 hrs in the growing season) and rich, moist but well-drained soil. Plant them so they are protected from harsh winds. They benefit from a layer of mulch to help keep roots moist and cool. They are not picky about PH, but slightly alkaline is best. Adding Lime will facilitate alkalinity.
Once established Quinces do not need to be fertilized, however young trees may be fed with a citrus food. Use a fertilizer low in Nitrogen as excess N. may encourage fruit drop and fire blight.
Very little pruning is needed. Prune out dead, diseased and damaged shoots and or branches. Prune to promote good air circulation. Best time to prune is mid to late winter.
Disease and Pest Control
Brown rot blossom blight and Fire blight are two of the diseases affecting Quince. Keeping the area clean of fallen fruit, leaves and twigs goes a long way towards prevention, however in severe cases fungicide sprays may be needed. Infected twigs and branches need to be pruned out in summer. Although Quince are relatively pest free, Caterpillars, Curculio beetles and Borers may visit your tree. See a Spray Schedule for more details.
Download a complete information sheet on quince including common quince varieties.
Pineapple Quince – Pale yellow, medium size, pear shaped fruit. Ripens in October. Use poached, in preserves and even roasted.
Smyrna – Large golden yellow apple shaped fruit ripens Sept/Oct. Stores longer than most varieties.