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Picture of the Week
20 September 1999

Common Quince

Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulturist

Common Quince is a small, spreading tree sometimes raised for its highly fragrant but surprisingly unsweetened fruit. Blended with sugar, the fruit can be processed into jelly and preserves, and is sometimes used in cider making to add additional flavor.

The fruits usually ripen rather late in the fall and should not be harmed by a few frosts. They should blush to a yellow or orange color when ripe. Quince trees are self-fruitful so only one tree can produce a nice crop. However, Quince are highly susceptible to fireblight and codling moth.

Some dwarf pear trees were made dwarf by grafting them onto a quince rootstock. These grafts are not strongly compatible and so it is not unusual for the tops to be lost after a few years or more. Whether the pear top is still alive or not, it is possible for a quince root sucker from such a tree to pop up and sprout foliage and eventually flowers and fruit.

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Last updated: 10 October 1999/tlm.