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Quince

Cydonia oblonga

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The quince is a deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, that looks similar to a pear, it is bright golden-yellow when mature. Traditionally quince fruit is used in cooking, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities.Quince trees can be espaliered or pruned into hedges, it is an unusual tree with twisted, gnarled branches that adds interest to the landscape. The tree is self-pollinated, but it produces better yields when cross-pollinated.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Quinces are harvested in the autumn and can be left to ripen on the tree.

Propagation

Cuttings
Take hardwood cuttings 15 to 30 cm in length in winter or early spring, dip into rooting hormone powder and plant in moistened horticultural sand, 8 to 10 cm into the sand. Because the cuttings take months to root and need to be kept moist, this soilless medium helps prevent rot and encourage drainage. Keep cuttings in a warm area with bright light until spring, when you can plant them out into trenches 15 cm apart. Cuttings should be rooted and well established in year.
Seed
Sowing time - Winter; Spacing - 4-6cm apart; Sowing depth - double the seed size. Graft the desired cultivar onto the growing quince sapling when about 1-2cm thick.
Layering
Layering is done in spring and left for a full year before being removed from the mother plant.
Notes
Propagation is done by cuttings or layering; the former method produces better plants, but they take longer to mature than by the latter. Named cultivars are propagated by cuttings or layers grafted on quince rootstock. Propagation by seed is not used commercially.

Special features

Hedge plant
Small trees with an untidy tangle of branches that resist formal training, the Quince makes a great hedge screen in any garden. Popular in old days to plait the branches to make beautiful hedges.

Geography

Origin
South-West Asia, Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, northern Iran to Afghanistan.
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
Fruits are almost never eaten raw, but stewed, preserved and made into jellies and jams with pink colour developing when cooked.
Rootstock
Quince seedlings can be used as rootstock for pear trees.

Personality

Family
Rosaceae
Flower colour
Flower buds are pink and lighten when opening to a very pale pink almost white colour., Pink, White
Scent
Mild

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