Fruit growing

How and when to prune quince trees

Last updated on May 6th, 2022

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If you are growing quince trees, it’s important that you prune these trees regularly. The trees tend to look after themselves quite well but you can help them by pruning near the end of dormancy to encourage better fruiting.

When should you prune quince trees? – Between Autumn and late Spring

Quince trees will fruit primarily on the tips of the shoots that they produced the previous year, so the main aim of pruning is to create lots of new growth and remove the old growth. This means you should prune and train the tree during its dormant season, which is usually between the end of autumn and the beginning of spring. This is the time of year that you should set up the branch framework.

Forming the framework

The framework you want should be one that is very similar to apple trees. During the early years of a tree, you want to set up a good structure by placing the first four branches around a height of 1.25 metres. This is also the time when you remove all the lower branches so that the trunk of the tree is clear.

Pruning more established trees to promote better fruiting

Once that process to create and form a good framework has been done, after a few years and the tree has had a few years to establish itself in your garden, you can leave it to its own devices with only light pruning needed every year to remove unwanted growth.

Once your quince tree is fully established, you should still remove any dead, damaged, or diseased branches as soon as you see them, as you do for all fruit trees. You should also check for crossing branches and remove any branches that are growing inwards, in the direction of the middle of your tree. It is important to remove any branches that are crowding the tree because this will help light flow through the tree.

This is very important in terms of providing the tree with ample access to light. Giving it better light penetration and air circulation can also be achieved by pruning every winter. If you prune in the winter though, do not remove more than one-quarter of the oldest branches. If you see any suckers around the base get rid of those as well.

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