The common medlar (Mespilus germanica L.) is native to southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe.
Medlar are deciduous shrubs or small trees that can grow up to 8 meters tall with a wingspan of about 6 meters. They have large, dark green, oval leaves that are rather leathery and turn yellow or red in autumn.
The loquat, the fruit of the loquat, is two to three centimeters in diameter, with decorative sepals and is yellow-orange in color.
Medlar are occasionally sold on their own roots, but more often they are grafted to slightly limit the size of the tree. You can also limit the size by choosing naturally compact cultivars.
The flowers of the medlar are self-pollinated, so there is no need to plant a partner.
Where to plant your medlar?
The medlar loves the sun, so choose an open and sunny site. If they have little sun or are in the shade, the harvest will be reduced. Make sure you do not plant in areas that are heavily frosted because the flowers are sensitive.
Medlar trees are very tolerant trees and grow in most soils, but they prefer moist soil and tolerate much better moisture than other fruit trees. If possible, give them moisture-retaining soil and add compost or peat / peat substitutes to heavy clay soils prior to planting to facilitate drainage. Leaves and flowers are easily damaged by strong winds.
When to plant a loquat?
The best time to plant new trees is between November and March.
How to plant medlar?
Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball and add compost and a hand full of fertilizer to the soil you have dug.
Detach the roots and gently firm the soil with your foot as you fill the hole. Tie the tree near the base to a peg. Water well.
How to grow a loquat from a seed / kernel?
Many varieties can not be obtained from the seeds, but if you want to plant your seeds, sow them in September or October in pots with compost and put them in a cold place. Germination is erratic. When the seedlings are large enough to handle them, put them in individual pots or in a nursery bed and grow them for three or four years before planting them in their permanent sites.
How to prune a loquat:
Remove weak branches, dead or crossing on trees established in March.
For young trees, you can reduce the lower branches if you want a longer trunk, otherwise reduce all side shoots to two or three leaves between October and March. When the tree has reached the desired height, cut the head to induce the growth of the lateral branches that will form the main branches.