The quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) is the only member of the genus and part of the rose family. While at one time it had been widely grown in home gardens, today it’s more commonly grown as rootstock for pear and other fruit trees. Quince trees are maintenance-intensive, demanding heavy pruning every year. Quince trees can live for hundreds of years and, aside from pruning every year, require little upkeep. The tree is vulnerable to fire blight, a disease that strikes vigorously growing trees, so it’s important to not over-fertilize the tree. Quince will best when grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9.
Why Fertilizing Is Required
Quince trees, such as most soil-grown plants, take up nutrients through their roots. These nutrients come from a variety of sources including the breakdown of animal and plant matter, manure and fertilizer applications. Over the years, dirt loses nutrients through long periods of wet weather, runoff, erosion and harvesting. The growth and maintenance of a healthy root system establishes the achievement of the quince tree so keeping up the soil’s fertility is an significant part the tree’s maintenance.
Type of Fertilizer
Somewhere on the fertilizer bag or box you’ll find a set of three numbers, such as 10-10-10. The first number represents the total amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer. The second and third numbers represent the quantity of phosphorus and potassium, respectively. Nitrogen is accountable for lush, green leaf. Phosphorous assists in photosynthesis, the transfer of nutrients throughout the quince tree along with also the growth of a strong root system. Potassium builds strong, healthful herbs. A 5-2-6 fertilizer formula is great for the quince tree as it has only enough nitrogen to assist the tree develop leaf and additional potassium for the tree flowering and fruiting. The low phosphorous level helps avoid excessive buildup of phosphorous from the ground, which might impede the trees capacity to absorb micronutrients.
When to Fertilize Quince
Young quince trees (under two years old) require more frequent applications of pesticide than old trees. Apply fertilizer to the immature tree in March, May and July. Feed the adult tree only once a year, in June, and only if a soil test confirms a nutrient deficiency in the ground. Quince trees grown in clay or sandy loam soils, watered regularly, typically do not require fertilizer, in accordance with master gardeners with the University of California.
How to Fertilize Quince
Granular fertilizers are best applied with a broadcast spreader. Scatter the fertilizer entirely around the quince tree, from 6 inches away from the trunk to 1 foot beyond the dripline. Granular fertilizers require water for activation, so water the fertilized area slowly and to a thickness of 10 inches to soak the item into the dirt.