Quince con­vinces

Geraldton Guardian - - REAL ESTATE - Sab­rina Hahn

Quince trees (Cy­do­nia ob­longa) are one of the pret­ti­est flow­er­ing, hardy fruit trees for the home gar­den. This small de­cid­u­ous tree orig­i­nates from South-West Asia, Ar­me­nia, Ge­or­gia, Tur­key and Iran to Afghanistan.

They are in­cred­i­bly re­silient, tak­ing frost and heat.

The most com­mon va­ri­eties avail­able in WA are smyrna from Tur­key, bear­ing large, golden yel­low pear-shaped fruit, and cham­pion, an Amer­i­can va­ri­ety re­sem­bling a fat pear, the fruit a green­ish yel­low chang­ing to golden when ripe.

Quinces are re­lated to pear trees but will only grow to about 4-5m in height and are self­pol­li­nat­ing, so you only need one tree.

Angers is a small va­ri­ety grow­ing to only 2.5m and is a French-type quince.

The fruit is flavour­some, though a bit harder than some other va­ri­eties, but cooks well.

If you are look­ing for a tough small de­cid­u­ous tree, the quince is worth con­sid­er­ing. It has beau­ti­ful soft green leaves with a sil­very un­der­side.

The flow­ers are sim­i­lar to the ap­ple — soft pink/white flow­ers that cover the tree. The fo­liage will turn yel­low in au­tumn and fruit will turn from green to yel­low when ripe. Most fruit ripens from March to May, de­pend­ing on the va­ri­ety.

Quince trees need reg­u­lar

prun­ing ev­ery win­ter, tak­ing out over­crowded branches right to the trunk and branches that head for the sky.

Un­like ap­ple and pear trees, the quince does not form a cen­tral leader be­cause of be­ing weighed down by the heavy fruit. Quince trees pro­duce their flow­ers and fruit on short new growth all within the same year.

It’s pos­si­ble to grow quince from hard­wood cut­tings taken in au­tumn. The only dis­ad­van­tage to this is they tend to sucker. It is a way of get­ting ex­actly the same tree the cut­ting came from.

Grow­ing from seed can have vari­able re­sults. Plant quince trees in full sun and im­prove the soil be­fore plant­ing. They will grow in a wide range of soil types but in al­ka­line soils may suf­fer from iron de­fi­ciency.

Q

Can you please help me with our lemon tree? The tree has sen­ti­men­tal value as it was my grand­mother’s. It is pre­cious and strug­gling. It has be­come very woody and the trunk is los­ing bark and be­gin­ning to crack. There are plenty of lemons on the tree but I’m not sure for how much longer. Sarah Law­son, Trigg

A

The lemon tree has se­vere col­lar rot that has trav­elled up the tree. It is a type of dieback and even­tu­ally kills the tree. You will need to scrape off all the peel­ing bark and prune it back hard. Then spray the en­tire tree with Yates Anti Rot. Re­move any mulch that is touch­ing the trunk. Once new growth starts to re­turn, ap­ply a liq­uid kelp to the fo­liage.

Q

I have two of the same tree grow­ing in my back gar­den, one do­ing well, one not so well. Why is one not do­ing so well? The trees are both po­si­tioned on the south-west side of the gar­den and are only about 6m apart. The tree do­ing poorly is slightly in the drip line of a jacaranda tree to the east of it. Any as­sis­tance greatly ap­pre­ci­ated.

Lee Clis­sold, East Vic­to­ria Park

A

These are Chi­nese elm trees, Ul­mus parv­i­fo­lia. They are par­tially de­cid­u­ous and are los­ing their leaves, which is nor­mal for this time of the year. The one that has lost most of its leaves may be a sucker from the larger one.

They have a broad canopy, up to 8m wide, so per­haps re­move the smaller one and keep the health­ier one. In spring add some com­post and ma­nure around the base, use a wet­ting agent and ap­ply two hand­fuls of Grow Safe fer­tiliser to kick­start it into sum­mer mode.

Ripe quince with leaves in sea­son. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages/iS­tock­photo 3 JOBS TO DO NOW1. Lift and di­vide rhubarb plants that are over four years old. En­sure you get the c...r.o...w...n ............................................................................................................................................................2. Di­vide cym­bid­ium orchids that are over­crowded. Re­plant into orchid mix, not p...o..t..t..i.n..g mi.x..,..a..n...d a..l.l.o..w t..h..e...m t..o...h...a..v..e s..o...m e...mo...r.n...i.n..g s..u...n ........ .... ..... ..... .... .... .... .... ..........................................................3. Prune back na­tive plants that have fin­ished flow­er­ing. Ap­ply a kelp so­lu­tion to all the fo­liage af­ter prun­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.