The medlar is a fruit tree native to China that is not uncommon to see in crops and gardens in many countries. Its is a fruit tree that is quite popular for its resistance to cold, which allows you to enjoy its tasty fruits in climates where other fruit trees do not usually grow or hardly thrive.
If you want to learn how to care for the medlar tree so that it grows strong and healthy, join us in this interesting article and you will find a very practical guide.
Characteristics of the medlar tree
With the scientific name Eriobotrya japonica , this fruit tree can reach heights of 10 meters without difficulty. It is characterized by its branches, which are born oriented downwards, forming a rounded or dome-shaped crown, and by its white flowers, which are grouped in panicles and appear in the fall. Its fruits, which are green at the beginning, turn a characteristic orange and adopt a sweet flavor, which can have acid tones when not ripe enough.
It is a fruit tree that is quite resistant to cold , although it does not need it to develop properly. When we talk about the medlar today, we almost always refer to the Japanese medlar tree , which is by far the most widespread.
It can be grown both from seeds and by grafting, the latter method being a great option, since it allows for fruit production in just two years.
Medlar tree care – practical guide
Here we offer you a guide on when and how to plant medlars , if you decide to get yours from a stone of one of these fruits that you have eaten. Also, keep in mind these basic care of the medlar tree that we indicate here:
- Climate: it does well in temperate climates, although it can withstand the cold.
- Irrigation: it does not need large waterings, but summer droughts can affect the fruit.
- Fertilizer: it needs a good fertilizer, especially in its growth.
- Soil: it is not demanding with the soil, but limestone or very saline do not do well.
- Pruning: requires training and maintenance pruning.
Next, we explain these aspects of medlar care in more detail.
Temperature, humidity and soil
The medlar is a tree very resistant to cold . In its adult phase, it can withstand temperatures down to -10 ºC. However, this applies only to the vegetative part itself. Its fruits do not tolerate temperatures below -3 ºC and although the tree will survive, it will not produce fruit with frosts of those levels. With this in mind, it supports spring frosts well, which rarely fall below these margins.
For the soil, it is important that the land has good drainage, since the tree will need frequent watering in its production season, but the soil should not get flooded . If it is very limestone or saline soil, we must provide the tree with nutrients to combat chlorosis.
Watering the medlar tree
This tree has no special watering needs, at least as far as its survival is concerned. However, if you want your medlar to produce quality and quantity fruits, you must water it often during its flowering and fruiting season . Do not let the soil dry out completely, or the fruits will fall or dry out, becoming unfit for consumption or losing a lot of quality.
We recommend increasing the frequency of irrigation in these months, reducing the amount provided by irrigation in return. In this way, the tree will continuously have the water it needs, without the earth becoming flooded or the tree being harmed by it. After harvesting the fruits, the frequency and abundance of watering are reduced again.
Loquat tree fertilizer
The medlar is quite demanding when it comes to soil nutrients . It needs especially phosphorus and potassium, especially in its initial stages of growth. This is because the medlar tree has very shallow roots and, therefore, it is necessary to make the nutrients available by providing them with compost. Nitrogen should be applied only during the fruiting period and immediately after harvest.
Pruning the loquat tree
Like almost all fruit trees, the medlar needs a training pruning during the initial years. This serves to give the tree an adequate structure, which allows its branches to be arranged optimally and without interfering with each other. Later, it will only be necessary to practice fruiting and maintenance pruning , cleaning it of branches that disturb others with their growth and removing branches and leaves in poor condition.