How to Prune Quince Trees

Overview

Quince trees are rare Asian fruit trees similar to pear or apple trees. When quince fruit is immature, it has a fuzzy covering similar to a peach. When the fuzz rubs off, the fruit ripens and turns from green to yellow. Prune quince trees when they are young in order to produce a strong structure. As they mature, pruning is done to maintain the tree structure, form, health and appearance. Properly trained and pruned trees result in high-quality fruit.

Step 1

Take into account the spherical shape of the quince tree. It has many lateral branches that may compete for dominance. If you disregard the form and try to make the fruit tree into an unnatural form, you'll have to do continual maintenance.

Step 2

Plan to use pruning equipment such as shears to make cuts at the node. This is where one twig or branch meets another. Each spring, growth will start with buds, and twigs grow until there is a new node.

Step 3

Thin the crown to increase the amount of light and air that gets to the fruit tree. Light is essential for flower bud development but a dense canopy may stop the light from reaching 12 to 18 inches inside the canopy. Proper air movement will help prevent disease.

Step 4

Remove the branches with narrow, V-shaped connections because they are weaker and are likely already cracked. Keep all branches that are attached with strong U-shaped joints.

Step 5

Raise the crown by removing all the branches that are facing downward, at the bottom of the quince tree. This will make the tree look neater while providing clearance for pedestrians, traffic and lines of sight.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not remove more than one-quarter of the crown at a time or you may cause stress and excessive production of epicormic sprouts.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Pruning equipment
  • Shears

References

  • TyTy Nursery
  • Forest Resources Extension
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Keywords: quince tree, Prune quince, Asian fruit tree

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.