The Nottingham Medlar is an easy all-rounder. When it comes to trimming medlar trees, it is a simple task, because pruning is not really necessary once the tree has attained its mature structure. Here are some tips on pruning medlars:
- In the medlar tree’s earliest years, create a good main tree structure, with the first 4 branches placed at a height of about 1.25 metres.
- Cut away all suckers and lower branches so that the tree has a clear trunk.
- Do not do any other pruning, and the tree will start cropping very early in life.
- In later years, pruning medlar trees just entails the removal of dead, damaged, diseased or crossing branches. Pruning should be performed towards the end of dormancy, in February/early March. But it is best to leave the medlar tree to its own devices. Lots of pruning in the early years will delay the cropping of the tree.
- If you have to control the size of the tree, prune in February/early March, as little as possible, as least often (say once every 3-5 years) as possible.
The medlar fruits appear early in the season, in May, but they are ready for picking and eating only in late November/early December. The first frosts seem to soften the fruit, so that the pulp seems mushy. It is a surprising fruit because although it looks rotten, so-called “bletted” fruit is in fact sweet and tasty.