- Cultural History of Quince
Quince homeland is Northwest Iran, North Caucasus, the Caspian Sea, and North Anatolia. In the southern parts of Europe and in North Africa, the quince grows wild.
Quince culture has been known since ancient times. Culture has passed from Anatolia to Greece and Rome before Christian era. It is known that it was first raised in Greece in 650 BC. It later spread to Central and Eastern Europe. The quince is grown in all other countries except Australia today. However, this type of fruit has not been popular and production has been limited.
- Systematic and Genology of Quince
The quince is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits).
Cultural varieties in quince are not as much as in close relatives of apples and pears. This is because of the lack of significance of the selection of new varieties is not emphasized and the hybrids are not needed. In addition, the use of vegetative production (steel, bottom shoot) method has been effective.
- Pomological Classification of Quince
Quince is divided into two groups according to their shapes
- Apple-shaped quince (maliformis)
- Pear-shaped quince (piriformis)
Most of quince in Turkey categorize in Limon, Demir, Ekmek and Bardak groups.
- Morphology and Biological Properties of Quince
A – Morphology
Habitus: The shape is like a bush. It can be 6-8 m long when it is single body. The body is short.
Branches: There are no special fruit branches like apple and pear. The young branches are often fuzzy, feathery, yellow-green; old-fashioned branches are often sparse-fuzzy brownish-green.
Buds: The buds are small, feathered and covered with a few flakes. The flower buds are in mixed structure, forming both shoots and flowers. Each bud comes into flower.
Leaves: The leaves are alternately arranged with an entire margin and densely pubescent with fine white hairs.
Flowers: The flowers are of the Rosacaea type, with five bowls and five petals. The bowls are on the fruit. The petals are pink or white. Stamen has 15-20 and ovary has five carpel.
Fruit: It is from the apple and pear group (pome) and is a pseudocarp. Fruit flesh is hard or crispy and it smells good.
B - Fertilization Biology
Many quince varieties are self-fertile. The number of chromosomes is n = 17. Triploidy has not been found in quince (Soylu, 1997).
5 - ECOLOGICAL REQUIREMENTS
A – Climate
Quince is cultivated on all continents in warm-temperate and temperate climates. We are often find quince in places that are far away from the marine climate, such as Central Anatolia. However, in such places the breeding of the quince depends on the appropriate directions and conditions.
Quince tree is resistant to winter cold as pear in Turkey conditions. The need for cooling is less than apples and pears (Özbek, 1979). They bloom late in cold areas and bloom with plums in warm-climate. It does not grow well in very windy places. The branches are broken. The product becomes dangerous in places with excessive rainfall (Soylu, 1997).
B – Soil
Most soils are satisfactory except those that are light, shallow and likely to dry out. Heavy, moist soils are particularly good—well-grown fruit is often seen on trees growing wild near creek banks where this type of soil is often found. Established trees can withstand periods of very wet conditions, but this does not mean that quinces like poorly drained situations.
Quinces are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency under alkaline conditions; hence, they prefer slightly acid soils.
6 - Technical Characteristics of Quince Breeding
A - Reproduction of the Quince
The reproduction of cultivars can be done with steel, bottom shoots or budding. Stable eye drops are preferred when budding is mandatory.
Even though the quince grows properly on the quince rootstock, it grows slowly and weakly on the hawthorn.
B - Garden Facility
There are very few quince gardens off in the world. In Turkey, there are only quince garden off in Denizli and İzmir.
Planting Distance: BA 29; 4 m X 2, 5 m
Wild Quince; 5 m X 4 m or 5 m X 5 m
C - Annual Maintenance of Quince Gardens
Soil cultivation: The most important point is to avoid plow the soil deep. Quince roots are close to the surface. If the soil is plowed deep, the roots will be cut too much and the trees will be damaged. It is enough that plow in spring and at the beginning of the summer.
Soil plowing in mixed gardens is undoubtedly arranged according to the main fruit.
Irrigation: In the closed quince gardens, watering is done in summer. Irrigation is repeated every 15-20 days according to the conditions.
Fertilization: Since quince roots do not dig down deep, it is necessary to take the nutrients from the soil at a certain thickness. For this reason, this part of the soil must be kept rich in nutrients. It is very useful to give three to four tones of farm grains every three to four years. It can also be supplemented with nitrogenous fertilizers. Of course, the most important factor in fertilizing is soil and leaf analysis.
Pruning: If the crowning is done well at the beginning, there will not be much need for pruning in the following years. The best crown style is goble for quince.
7 - Fruit Works
A – Harvest
Mature quince fruits snap easily from the tree. If you have to tug on the fruit to remove it from the tree, it is not quite ripe. To harvest, lift the fruit slightly and twist gently until the stem snaps free. If you must harvest before full maturity, such as before a major frost, cut the stems to remove the fruit so you do not damage the tree or the quince.
Despite its apparent firmness, the fruit will bruise and the skin will easily become marked by handling. Ideally, fruit for the fresh market should be harvested and handled when some color signaling approaching maturity is apparent, but before it is fully mature. Because of the limited fresh fruit market for quinces, some of the larger growers begin marketing as soon as the fruit is fully developed but still fairly green. This extends the marketing period.
Department experience has shown that a number of varieties can be successfully cool stored for a period of 2 months at a temperature of 0°–1°C (the temperature used for cool storing apples). Some varieties can develop superficial scald and flesh browning when in cool storage.
Quinces have a distinctive fruity odour, especially when confined in a storage chamber. Storing with other fruits may lead to problems of flavour tainting—enclosing the stored quinces in suitable polyethylene can usually overcome this problem. Obviously a cautious approach to storage is required at this stage.
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