Related to apples and pears, quince used to be a standard in American backyards.

Quince are very beautiful, small trees growing to 12-15’ tall and wide, but can be pruned to 8-10’ tall.

Recommended spacing is 10-15’ apart. They bloom in early spring with large, white, waxy flowers. This is followed by large, dark green leaves with fuzzy undersides. Fragrant, golden fruits are ready in fall when the skin loses its greenish color.

Quinces are very adaptable, low maintenance and cold hardy trees. They thrive on neglect, and therefore rarely require fertilizer (fertilize once a year at most). These trees prefer heavy, wet soils. Regular, deep watering during the hot summer months is beneficial to fruit production.

Since quince is in the rose family they are susceptible to similar diseases. However, good care of your tree can help prevent problems.

The trees should be pruned to an open vase shape. Because of the tendency of branches to weep and become leggy, it is recommended you head back branches to support the heavy fruit. Additional pruning includes removal of suckers and water sprouts. Fruit does not need to be thinned unless there is a very heavy crop.

Quinces are excellent for jams, jellies, preserves and wine. They ripen in fall and are still hard, but bruise easily. The fruit will keep a few weeks when refrigerated.