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Training and pruning a quince espalier tree

If you want to grow an espalier fruit trees not for the fresh fruit but as ornament, you should chose a quince. They are undemanding, vigorous, low-maintenance and thrive in partial shade - a very interesting alternative to apples, pears or other fruits in some cases.. The fruits can not be eaten fresh, but they are not totally useless as they can be used for jelly and marmalade!

(lat.: Cydonia oblonga)


Requirements / Provenance

Quinces are undemanding fruit trees, but they need a permeable soil that is not too heavy. They thrive in sunny locations, but walls in partial shade are sufficient when they are grown as ornamental plants. Quinces can be found in local tree nurseries or ordered online.

Characteristics and Pruning

When cultivated on an espalier, quinces are treated as shaped trees. They can grow to height of about 6 meters, with white large flowers in May / June. The fruits are strongly scented. If at all, the fruits become edible when exposed to a lot of sun on southern walls, in late October or in November. Even when the maturity is not optimal, the fruits can still be used for jelly, marmalade, "quince bread", sweet must, etc.. The pelt must be removed before processing. There are "apple" quinces and "peach" quinces, depending on the shape of the fruit. One pruning to thin out the branches per year is enough.

Wire trellises for quinces

The table at the bottom of this page indicates wich trellis designs should be used for a quince espalier. Choose a trellis in the heavy or massive trellis ranges, for smaller espaliers you can also use a medium or Basic trellis. Espalier trees can also be cultivated on wooden trellises. The growing aid needs to be strong enough for the tree once it has grown old. The main axes of the trellis should be about 60 cm apart. More details on the page "shaped trees". Any distance to the wall can be chosen.

Suitable wire rope trellis

Click on the image to find a suitable facade trellis design.

Suitable wire trellis for a quince

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable         = sometimes suitable              = not suitable