Friday, May 29, 2009

quince loosing bark

This is a Chinese quince, Pseudocydonia sinensis. It is ancient, collected probably in Korea and imported from Japan a few years ago. It was always very promising. Last spring I potted it into this fabulous container by Peter Krebs. and then it almost died. I still don't know what happened. Anyway, it was sitting around all summer looking dead. At my late summer meeting we contemplated to hide it in the garage because of embarassement. And then in winter it started to come again. In spring many of the new shoots suddenly died like they would forom fire blight. And now a few days ago stripes of bark came down and the whole tip of the crown is dead. Today I took off the bark where it looked dead. The rest looks quite happy I will let it grow freely all summer and then cut back at the beginning of August. I will leave the deadwood on that quince. I have never seen a quince with deadwood before. Well, someone has to start a trend.
Maybe it actually had fire blight. Or at least a deadly fungus. Or almost deadly. I hope very much that it does not spread.
I have not used any fungicide or similar. I believe in the natural strength of happy trees.


johnson said...

go quince go!

amkhalid said...

Walter, too bad about this tree's struggle lately, but you brought up a topic I have been wondering about lately... to use fungicide or not on non-native trees.

I agree with you that a strong native tree should be able to cope with any native pests... seems like common sense... but what about non-native trees?

I have an Abies which was collected 4000 km away from my home. In its natural habitat it is almost invincible. Here, it seems to be susceptible to many types of fungi which it has never encountered before. Even though it is very healthy, I have found that if I don't give it a preventative spray in the spring, it succumbs to some kind of needle-cast quite quicky and weakens the entire tree, opening it up for further infection.

But my native trees, I never have to spray.

Maybe there is something in your part of the world that this quince is not immune to, and repotting opened it up for infection?

Just a thought, I'd appreciate your insight on this.


Walter Pall said...


yes, this is a possiblity. The Alpine larch, Larix decidua, and the cembra pine, Pinus cembra, are both growing naturally in the high mountains where they are virtually pest-free. When grown in the flat lnds these trees always have wooly aphids. One absolutely has to do somethig about this pest. The tree cannot help itself. It seems that the wooly aphids cannot survive in the high mountains. So the trees never had the need to develop a defese system. The gardener hss to help them.
Regarding my quince I am pretty much dependant on the natural strength of the tree I am afraind


Anonymous said...

Your "Pseudoconia" is in fact Pseudocydonia.

Walter Pall said...

Oh, alright, thank you. It was a typo.