Last updated on June 12th, 2022 at 02:24 pm
The medlar tree is one of the lesser known fruit trees. Yet it is very easy to care for and bears a lot of fruit if you treat it well. Here you will learn how to plant, care for and prune the medlar tree properly.
The loquat tree, also known as the medlar, is rarely found in gardens in recent years. In the past, it was one of the popular fruit trees in monastery and farm gardens. The medlar belongs to the rose family and, planted as a hedge, can form a natural privacy screen. But also if you want to cultivate your own wild fruits without much effort, the medlar tree is the right choice.
The right location for the medlar tree
Medlar tree can grow up to six meters high, if you provide ideal conditions. Fortunately, this is not difficult, because the fruit tree is quite undemanding. If you follow the tips below, you will soon be able to harvest the first pome fruit.
The right location: The medlar tree needs a lot of warmth and light to develop its fruits. Therefore, you should find a place in your garden that is as sunny as possible. Ideally, the location should also be well protected from wind and rain.
The right soil: Loose and well-drained soil is where loquats thrive best. If the soil in your garden is very sandy, you should mix in some compost to provide the tree with sufficient nutrients.
Sufficient spacing: Some varieties of medlar, such as the ‘Royal Medlar’, have a shrubby growth habit. You should give them plenty of space so that the wide crowns can grow unhindered.
Instructions: plant medlar tree.
Since the medlar tree likes it warm, it is best to plant the young shrubs in the ground as early as March or April. The loquat is self-pollinating, so it is sufficient to plant only one tree in your garden. Proceed as follows:
- First, dig a sufficiently large planting hole.
- Place the young medlar tree in the hole and cover it again with the excavated soil. Then press the soil down well.
- As a stabilizing aid, you should also drive a support stake into the ground at a slight angle on the west side of the trunk.
- Finally, do not forget to water the medlar tree generously.
The right care for the medlar tree
The medlar tree is quite unknown today, but it is very easy to care for and frugal. If you follow some care instructions, you can harvest the first medlars towards the end of October.
- Watering: The medlar needs very little water. In the first year after planting, however, you should water the young trees regularly. This way the medlar tree will take root quickly. Later, it is sufficient to water the tree with a little tap water during dry periods. Especially after flowering, you should always keep the soil slightly moist. It is only important that you avoid waterlogging.
- Fertilizing: As a rule, the medlar tree does not need any additional fertilizer. However, to help the young trees grow better, you can mix some horn shavings into the soil about two months after planting.
- Pruning: You really only need to prune the medlar tree if it has gotten a little out of shape. Then you can remove old and too dense branches in spring. Similar to the quince, you will hardly need to prune the medlar tree once its crown is fully formed.
- Harvesting: Towards the end of October, the first medlars are ripe. However, the fruits are still quite hard, so it is best to wait until after the first frost before harvesting. The harvested medlars should be stored for a few days in a dark, cool place so that they can develop their aromatic flavor. Medlars are good for making jam and puree. (More tips: recipes with medlars).
- Overwintering: You should protect freshly planted medlar trees from winter sun and frost during the first winter by lining the ground with some fir brushwood or autumn leaves. Later, the medlar will be hardy to the greatest extent possible.
- Diseases and pests: The medlar tree is very resistant to fungal attack. From time to time, an infestation of spike drought can cause the shoots of the tree to die after flowering. The best way to control the disease is to cut back the diseased branches to the healthy wood.