How to Prune a Quince Tree


The fruiting quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) performs best when pruned to an open-center shape, which allows air and light to penetrate the tree's canopy and ripen the quince. Fruiting quince emit a sweet fragrance when ripe and the tree's gnarled wood can add visual interest to your yard. Once common in America, fruiting quince is much more rare in modern times. Annual pruning keeps your fruiting quince healthy.

Step 1

Locate dead, diseased or damaged wood on your quince tree. This growth will be physically marred or discolored and feel light to the touch.

Step 2

Cut off the dead, diseased and damaged wood. Clip it off at the base, using lopping shears for thick wood and anvil pruners for young growth. Between cuts, spray your pruning tools with a disinfectant spray to avoid spreading bacteria while pruning.

Step 3

Select three to four limbs that grow both outward and upward to be scaffold limbs. Good scaffold limbs will make a 45- to 60-degree angle with the tree trunk. Remove all competing growth, including branches that grow too close to vertical. Cut off these limbs with your lopping shears. For large limbs use a pole saw.

Step 4

Prune back downward-growing limbs. Remove suckers that grow from the tree trunk, since these won't bear fruit.

Step 5

Thin the canopy by removing offshoots from your scaffold limbs. Leave three to five offshoots per limb and trim back the rest.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Disinfectant spray


  • Agro Forestry: Quince
  • Washington Post newspaper: A Pruning Fit for a Quince
  • North Carolina State University: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
Keywords: quince tree, fruiting quince, prune quince tree

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.