The Q&A Archives: Thorn Apple

Question: I have a tree which my husband recalls being a thorn apple. It is approximately 25 ft tall, bears tannish-golden fruits that are rounded and about one-inch in diameter. Are these edible or useful? The birds and squirrels do not eat them.

Answer: By your description of the fruit, I'd guess your tree is a quince. Fruiting quince has thornless branches, and flowering quince has thorns. So, if your thorn apple tree has no thorns, it's probably a quince. The fruit is inedible raw but useful in making jams and jellies. The fruit usually ripens in late September to early October. At 25', your quince has reached its mature height.

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