Why do seedless trees produce fruit?

Rare types of fruit Medlar: an almost forgotten fruit

planting

It is beneficial to plant bare-root trees in late autumn or winter so that the tree will take root well before the next spring. In principle, medlars can also be placed in the planter in spring and summer. To stabilize the newly planted tree, it should be tied to a stake in the first few years of life. The loquat makes little demands on the soil, it just doesn't get along well with calcareous soils. Due to their origin from southern climes, medlars love the warmth and are considered to be relatively drought-resistant. They survive periods of drought well. If it is in a protected location, it can also be grown at altitudes of up to around 600 meters.

maintenance

The medlar is an undemanding plant. After the upbringing cut, a regular cut is not necessary, but strongly protruding or drooping branches should be shortened. If the rootstock drifts through grafted trees, the corresponding shoots should be cut away in order to maintain the purity of the variety. Since young trees also bear very quickly, the fruits should be removed from them early so as not to overload the tree in the first years of life. Medlars are self-fertilizing, but if you want a high yield, you should plant two trees.

Flowers and fruit

The large, white flowers are very decorative, some varieties also bloom pink. Bees and other insects like to visit the flowers. Birds also like to eat the fruit.

The aromatic fruits ripen in late autumn, they should stay on the tree as long as possible, even into winter. There is no danger that the fruit on the tree will start to mold. Their taste is described as fig or date-like with an earthy note. To be ready for consumption, they should ideally get frost, as this reduces the tannic acid content and the hard fruits become soft in the first place. Ripe medlars are brown on the inside, the flesh is doughy, and most varieties contain several stones. The fruits can be eaten raw, for example by sucking them. However, their high pectin content makes them particularly suitable for jams and jellies.

sorts

In the wild form Mespilus germanica, which grows as a large shrub and often bears abundantly, the fruits are smaller than those of the cultivated varieties. The latter are also refined on half-logs. Cultivars are still grown today, particularly in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, as well as in Eastern Europe. The varieties 'Breda Giant', 'Bredase Reus', 'Macrocarpa' or 'Montreuse d'Evreinoff', for example, have large to very large fruits. The large-fruited varieties ripen earlier than the small-fruited ones.

Medlar jam

Wash 1kg medlar, cut in half and simmer in a saucepan just covered with water over low heat for 20 minutes. Put through a sieve, weigh, stir well with the appropriate amount of preserving sugar and bring to the boil. If you like, add a little cinnamon. Simmer for five minutes and pour into clean, tightly sealable glasses while hot. Turn these upside down for five minutes and then store in a cool and dark place.

jelly

1.3 kg of very soft and ripe medlar, 500 g of quartered apples, pulp of 3 peeled lemons, 1.6 l of water, sugar. Simmer everything for an hour and a half, stir occasionally, pass through a linen cloth, measure out the liquid and add the same amount of sugar. Let it boil until the sugar has dissolved, make a jelly test, fill into glasses.

Loquat bread

Turn jelly residues through "Flotte Lotte", weigh the mixture and add half as much sugar, possibly lemon juice, thicken. Spread 1-2 cm thick on oiled greaseproof paper. After two to three days, cut or cut out and roll in sugar.

compote

500 g medlars, ½ l apple juice, sugar to taste. Peel and halve the firm medlars, cut out only the flower from the doughy ones. Simmer in water until half cooked, add apple juice and sugar, finish cooking.

Experts-Tip: Plant medlar as part of a wild fruit hedge

Ulrike Lasker-Bauer, an expert in rare fruit varieties and former tree nursery owner from Eichsfeld, recommends planting the wild medlar as part of a wild fruit hedge. It works very well in combination with wild rose, hazel and hawthorn, for example. The medlar is also good as a solitary - for example as a house tree - in this case you should resort to refinement on a half-trunk.

If you are curious about this fruit, you may not find medlars in every plant market, but you can ask at selected tree nurseries in your region. In case of doubt, internet research can also help.