How do you grow a Medlar tree?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 23 January 2015 03:27 pm

Medlars are self-fertile and will grow in most soils unless they are very chalky or poorly drained. The tree is grafted on to a Quince A rootstock. The best results will be obtained in a sunny position but they will tolerate partial shade. Choose a sheltered position as the flowers and leaves can be damaged by strong winds.  The trees are best grown on a short leg and any branches that develop 45cm (18″) or less above ground should be removed. The tree will ultimately reach a height and spread of 4-6m (13-20ft).

In spring apply a Fruit Fertiliser and a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost. Pruning is carried out when the tree is dormant in winter. In the first 3-4 years prune back the longest upward growing shoots by a third. Remove any crossing branches and maintain an open centre. Once the main framework has been established only light pruning is necessary, removing any dead or diseased wood and to maintain an open centre.

The fruits are harvested in October or early November, before the first frosts, when they come away easily from the tree. At this time the fruit are not fully ripe. The fruit should be stored in trays with the flower end facing downwards and not touching each other. Place the trays in a cool, dark, frost free place for two or three weeks until the fruit softens and turns brown.

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