The Q&A Archives: Removing a Quince

Question: There is a quince bush planted between a cherry and a pear tree in my yard. Is there anything that I should know about removing it before I start digging? I just want to get rid of it and plant flowers in it's place.

Answer: A quince is likely to have roots radiating in all directions, and the roots are probably intertwined with the roots of the fruit trees. If you don't remove all of the roots, they may sprout new stems. If you're not careful, you might harm the fruit trees. I'd dig down carefully and try to get the shrub out with as many of the main roots attached as possible, but I wouldn't do any extensive excavating if the fruit tree roots are evident. Cut off any roots from the quince that you can't conveniently dig, but expect them to send suckers out for a year or two. You can control the suckers by cutting them off at ground level as soon as they appear, and before they develop leaves. Eventually, without leaves to manufacture food for the roots, the roots of the quince will die out.

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