Quince flowers late in the spring so the flowers are seldom injured by frost. The fruit are covered with fuzz and are too tart to eat out of hand. The trees are short- lived and require a well-drained soil.
Cut back any broken roots at planting time and shape the top of the tree. Set the plants 15 feet apart. If a bush is desired, rather than a tree, cut the plant back to a height of 12 inches at planting time. Growing the plant as a bush allows pruning out of fire blight or borer infested stems. Such stems can be sacrificed without losing the plant.
All varieties of quince are self fruitful. They are about the same hardiness as peach. The fruit type quince are fairly small trees with a spreading habit and crooked branches. The flowering quince are a separate species.
It is very important to avoid overdosing quince with nitrogen. The tree is quite susceptible to fire blight. If a susceptible plant is given too much nitrogen, the resulting growth will be very susceptible to the disease.
Little pruning is needed. Remove crossing or dead branches. Pruning is generally limited to thinning out. The fruits are borne on a branch tip of the current seasons growth. Pruning should stimulate branching and the formation of new growth to increase fruit production. Remove some old wood occasionally to allow better sunlight penetration and increased branching. Pruning is done when the plants are dormant in late winter.
Quince should be harvested when fully ripe and the fruit separates easily from the tree. Ripe fruit gives off a strong aroma and separates easily from the tree when lifted. Do not store quince with other fruits as the other fruits may be tainted by the quince odor and flavor.