[nafex] My poor young quince--more options

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Sat May 21 22:21:28 EDT 2016

After observing a neighborhood C. oblonga die from fireblight, have noticed
many neighborhood Chaenomeles (Japanese Flowering Quince) in NE TN and SW
VA which are not affected by rust or fireblight.  And we have LOTS of rust
fruiting on cedars this year.

Not to be splitting hairs, but Cedar-Quince Rust is distinct from
Cedar-Apple Rust and Cedar-Hawthorn rust, though all three use pome fruit
as alternate hosts.  See

But my main point is that since 1992, we have been gathering and making
quince juice, sauce, guava-like paste and quince drops (like gumdrops) from
this pectin rich fruit.  Have read there are over 150 aromatic compounds in
the juice; some pastry chefs have been having fun with ours.

At this link is a summary of this group of quinces and work ongoing in
Europe to evaluate Chaenomeles up to 2002.  I suspect some of this is still
going on, and some cultivars may have been released now.
Note the culinary uses listed therein:

So Betsy, you could try some Chaenomeles.  Cultivars I like are 'Spitfire'
and 'Toyo Nishiki'.  I like the latter for the large size of the both the
mature bush and it's fruit.  These are rated Zone 5, though they sucker so
freely from the base I imagine they would survive with snow cover or
mulch.  But then there is the drying winds affecting flower buds, as has
been noted.  Not as much of an issue in the upper SE, with out generally
wet winters.

For what it's worth, after trialing 25 fruiting genera at our original 2
acre site, Chaenomeles is one of the few genera we introduced when moving
to our farm 8 years ago.

But there still are plenty of 'flowering quince' bushes as foundation
plants at older homes, in the counties where I live in S. Appalachia.
And the fruit is readily shared by the owners upon request each fall, and
few anymore know what to do with it.  Though some remember elders their
families making jelly.  Have transplanted suckers from some of those plants
upon request, so with observation you may be able to identify some which
are blight and rust resistant in your area, and ask to dig some starts.
Said otherwise, there likely are some resistant quince already thriving in
your area; others have already done the fruit exploration, probably more
for ornamental reasons.

Granted, Chaenomeles differs from Cydonia, so may not be a fit for you.
But we enjoy working with the fruits we can grow, over striving for the
fruits that don't work here (so far).

I should shout out to Hector and Susie Black and clan, Lee Reich, Mike
McConkey, Lucky Pittman and other NAFEXers for broadening my horizons of
'what fruits here', leading to culinary adventures.  Creative chefs also
like the challenge.

Thankful now for our spring rain, and for a few peaches looking good so far
this year.
Richard Moyer

On 5/21/2016 9:42 AM, Anton Callaway wrote:
> Betsy,
> I've been growing quinces for a few decades, but have just about given up
because of rust.  If you can't wipe out all the red cedar trees within a 10
mile radius (that's an exaggeration), then you will have problems with
rust.  My last ditch effort was to bring in a 'Lisle's Special' quince,
which was purported to be resistant to rust.  It is not.  I took out the
tree last year.  The only quince I have remaining is a seedling of Lisle's
Special.  It is also showing a lot of rust.  I expect it will be yanked
out, too in a few years.
> Sorry for the bad news.  I love the fruit also.
> Lester Davis gave me a quince-like tree a few years ago.  It is certainly
not C. oblonga, but the fruit is similar in flavor.  It gets rust, but not
so severely that I want to remove it.  It also has a wonderful fragrance
akin to the C. oblonga fruit from my grandmother's yard and the exfoliating
bark is quite ornamental.  You might contact him for more information.
> Best regards,
> Anton
> Piedmont region of NC, near RTP
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Elizabeth Hilborn <ehilborn at mebtel.net>
>> Sent: May 17, 2016 8:38 PM
>> To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters <
nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Subject: [nafex] My poor young quince
>> I have never tried growing Cydonia oblonga before as we have severe fire
>> blight here. However, a site opened up with good ventilation and first
>> AM sun. I love the fruit so I bought a tree. It arrived in our warm
>> early spring, I was able to protect it from the late freezes. It was
>> vigorous and put out at least 10 inches of new growth with healthy
>> Now, although it has escaped fire blight, it is suffering extensively
> >from rust. The apical meristem is brown and necrotic, each leaf is at
>> least somewhat deformed and every petiole is swelling with future
>> fruiting bodies. One petiole has already started releasing spores.
>> I feel like I have staked a goat out in a tiger infested jungle.
>> So, does anyone have experience with this? Is this young tree destined
>> to die a long, protracted death, or can it survive this severe rust
>> infection?  I would rather rip the quince out if it is a hopeless cause
>> for survival. This IS a bad rust year, my apples are suffering too - not
>> every year is so bad....
>> Betsy Hilborn
>> 7a Central NC

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