Pruning Japanese quince takes less than an hour. You need to put on protective clothes and equipment, remove the suckers first, cut away any dead and damaged limbs, thin the old-growth branches and shape the foliage. You need a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves ,safety glasses, a pole pruner, loppers, an anvil pruner and barbecue tongs.
- Wear safety clothes and equipment
Put on a long-sleeved shirt and long plants to protect your arms and legs from the thorny branches. Wear gloves and safety glasses as well.
- Remove the suckers
Using a pole pruner, remove the suckers from around the trunk of the tree.
- Cut away dead limbs
Find and cut away any dead limbs. Because the branches are thick and thorny, reach into the shrub with the pole pruner. Once you cut away a dead limb, grasp it with a pair of long barbecue tongs and pull it out.
- Thin the branches
Starting with the oldest branches, thin out the limbs. Use either loppers or anvil pruners. Prune the shrub in the spring after it flowers.
- Shape the foliage
Shape the foliage in order to maintain the desired size and encourage growth. If necessary, prune away up to one-third of the remaining branches.