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:

  1. 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.
  2. Cut away all suckers and lower branches so that the tree has a clear trunk.
  3. Do not do any other pruning, and the tree will start cropping very early in life.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

medlar fruit
Image by glacika56, courtesy of Pixabay