The decorative ornamental medlar tree is an asset to any garden, with lovely flowers and unusual fruit.
The best time to plant your medlar tee is between November and March. These fruit trees are self-fertile, meaning just one will provide a crop; although if planting more than one allow around 4.5m between each.
Medlars are slow growing and reach an average size of 4-5m in height and spread, they will grow in most places though are suited best to sunny spots which are sheltered from the wind.
They are hardy trees that will grow in most types of soil that is fertile and well-drained, it is essential to keep young trees watered, especially during dry spells.
Pests and Diseases
These fruit trees are relatively free from problems, although winter moth caterpillars can sometimes be a problem.
Diseases may include hawthorn leaf spot.
Medlar trees do not acquire much pruning, granting winter is the time to maintain your tree to create the acquired shape and encourage growth. It is important not to over prune this tree as the fruit grows at the ends of the branches.
Harvesting and Storage
The fruit harvest usually occurs around the end of October, which is later than most other fruit trees. The fruit will be a golden yellow until it ripens and turns to brown; the medlar can be harvested before or after it as ripened.
It is best to pick the medlar in dry conditions, as they are easier to handle. They cannot be eaten straight from the tree; they need to be stored in a cool place usually for around 2 weeks until the fruit becomes soft. There on after they can be stored within a refrigerator for up to 2 days.
The main uses for medlar fruits are within jams and jellies, it is a famous Christmas ingredient, because of its tart and spicy taste.
Medlar jelly is very versatile and works well in both sweet and savoury dishes, particularly works well with red meats and cheeses.