[nafex] Quince fruiting

maxwelldm at eastlink.ca maxwelldm at eastlink.ca
Tue Jan 17 10:41:40 EST 2017

I have lost track of how this works, so forgive me if things go astray.  I know nothing about 
the biology of quince trees.  But I planted a 2 year-old Quince of Portugal in my orchard in 
Nova Scotia, (zone 5b), 6 years ago.  It grew a good 3 ft. that first year, No fruit in year 2, 
(3'rd leaf).  Next year, (4'th leaf) produced 12  one pound fruits. Following year 24 lb. of fruit, 
next year 36 lb, and this past year 42 lb..  No diseases of any sort, no insect attack of any 
sort.  Just grows and fruits in abundance.

An interesting sidelight on this is that it was apparently usual for farmsteads (at least locally) 
to have one or two quince trees planted near the house, to supply the pectin for fall canning 
activities.  I am aware of a couple of old farms locally where the old quince trees, (no longer 
named) continue to grow adjacent to the 100 year-old farmhouse, so it is obviously not 
unusual.  I do not believe we have CAR in this area.  (We do have heavy scab pressure, 
being right on the water.  But the quince seems completely immune to apple scab.)

Now, to the question of what flower buds look like.  I have no "book knowledge", but have 
gone out to look at my tree.  It is very apparent that there are no clear flower buds, in the 
manner of apples.  (On an apple tree, it is obvious what is a vergatative bud, and what will be 
a flower this spring).  I do not know whether there is some means of including pictures in this 
listserv, but if it is felt to be useful, if somebody wants to give me guidance, I can post a 
picture.  But, basically, my interpretation, (and again, I emphasize that I know nothing, and 
can only go on my own observations and interpretation), is that the Google entry is actually 
pretty accurate.  I have looked at a spur where a fruit developed last year - a short (2") stub, 
with the scar where the fruit dehisced, at the end.  This stub has a dormant bud towards the 
base,, followed by 3 short "sprouts" towards the distal end, each with 3 or 4 buds, with 2 of 
these buds being closely grouped at the tips.  There is nothing which looks clearly like a 
flower vs, fruit bud - all the buds are small and fairly tightly applied to the stem.  But I am 
reasonable sure that what happens in the spring is that one of the two buds at the terninal 
end of each of these twigs grows for a couple of inches, then produces a flower bud, which 
then blooms, terminating the growth on that particular twig.  The other adjacent bud may or 
may not also grow out, and if it does do so, it does not terminate in a blossom, but makes a 
new branch.  So, my observation would suggest that there really are no flower buds visible on 
the the previous year's growth, and that the flowers are produced in the spring from new 
wood which has grown in the very early part of the seqason, (ie. on the current year's 

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