This medium sized fruiting strain of medlar is ideal for late fall early winter consumption. The fruit 'blets' or freezes and thaws leaving a creamy pear like texture with a pear and apple flavor. The Ecos strain was collected from a nursery person I met when I graduated from college in the late 70's. His nursery specialized in fruits for birds, He invited me into his house for lunch one day and inspired me to start my nursery and ship plants around the country. After he passed away unexpectedly, his family allowed me to collect a few medlars from a plant he had near his house. I germinated his seeds and planted the trees on a hill top on a windswept sandy dune type soil This is the most productive of the medlars we have with double the yields of the large grafted types. The plants also have the ability to spread by underground stolons. The stolons do not spread to fast but it does allow for reproduction of larger plantings using an already large established underground root system. It took 20 years before the trees begin to produce runners. These can be pruned upwards to develop good scaffolds to hold the heavy fruit set.
Scions of 'Beacon' by request: 'Beacon' is a new variety of medlar from Oikos Tree Crops: our Walters seed grown medlars. This selection out yields all the other seedlings making it the most productive selection we have yet found in our seedling plantings. Other seed grown plants are just as productive but this one is slightly more and consistent in yields. The plant also has the largest caliper of all seedlings now over a foot across at the base. It has never shown any hint of fireblight and produces a small tree that is truly a beacon on the hill we planted it on over 30 years ago. Medlars can be grafted onto hawthorne and this is normally the way it is reproduced clonally. For those with a proper rootstock, then please request the scionwood and we will send 'Beacon' with the seeds. Grafting can be done like apples in the spring in a dormant condition. 'Beacon' is available only if you purchase seeds and is not offered separately.
To germinate the seed: Add a moist soil media around the seeds like slightly damp Canadian peat moss. Medlar seeds are doubly dormant requiring two years to germinate. The seeds require a warm, cold, warm and then cold again. The seeds have a very hard seed coat and along with the immature embyo the seed continues to grow and develop until the bony shell is weakened by soil bacteria and then it splits releasing the embryo and the root emerges. One way to overcome dormancy is to put in a propagation tray outside and cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of sand. Screen the tray to prevent pilferage. Most seeds will sprout within the second year and can be treated like apple seeds.
|Genus & Species||Mespilus germanica|
|Seed Source||Michigan Ecos-Walters|
|Height (ft)||15-25 ft with a width of 10-15 ft. Shrubby but can be pruned to a multi-stemmed tree.|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile. Pollinated by honey bees. Flowers late usually missing frosts.|
|Soil||Easy to grow from rock to sand to clay.|
|Climate||Zone 3-9 Can grow in dry desert type environments.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Easy to grow from seed, once the seed coat is worn down. Germinates and grows slow at first but puts on a sizable tap root just like hawthorn does. Surprising this unknown fruit is not used much but partly to blame is the rather bland cultivars that exist. Fruits within 4-8 years from seedling once the tree reaches 3-6 ft. tall.|