Medlars tolerate most soils, unless very chalky or badly drained, but thrive in a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. They will do best in a warm, sheltered site in sun but can be grown in partial shade. Leaves and flowers are easily damaged by strong winds.
Due to their spreading habit medlars are best grown as standard or half-standard trees, (trees with a well-developed clear trunk), 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) for half standard and 1.8-2.1m (6-7ft) for standard. Medlars are grafted onto quince or hawthorn rootstocks. The semi-vigorous Quince A and BA29 rootstocks offer greater stability, producing trees 4-6m (13-20ft) in height and 6-8m (18-24ft) in spread.
Planting and staking
If planting a new tree, ideally do so between November and March, and if planting more than one, allow 5-6m (16-19ft) between each tree and from other plants to allow for the crown to develop its natural habit. It is important for the tree to develop a strong straight clear trunk to support the spreading crown.
If buying partly trained standard or half-standard, tie the stem to a short stake at planting. If starting with a maiden (tree without a partially developed crown) support the stem with a long stake for the first three or four years to ensure development of a straight stem that can support the spreading crown. If the stem of the partly trained tree appears weak, use a long stake.
Feeding and watering
In March apply a general fertiliser, such as growmore, at 70g per sq m (2oz per sq yd) over the rooting area. After applying fertiliser, mulch with well-rotted farmyard manure or compost.
Adequate moisture is essential to obtain strong growth and good cropping, and young trees in particular should be watered well during dry spells in spring and summer for the first three or four years.