Imagine you’re wandering through an orchard on a crisp autumn day when you come upon the most perfect apple—ripe, round, red, and blemish-free. You pluck the apple off the branch, rub it on your shirt to get it clean and shiny, and take a big juicy bite. Mmm mmm. Now, what if you could do that in the comfort of your own backyard? If you love orchards as much as I do, why not plant some fruit trees in your yard? Today we’ve compiled a list of the best fruit trees for Missouri. Because of our state’s cold winters, unpredictable springs, and brutally hot summers, it can difficult to find plants that will hold up year after year, but these trees pass the test. Just be sure to plant them in a sunny spot with room to grow.
Best Fruit Trees for Missouri
An American classic, apple trees are the perfect choice for any Missouri homeowner hoping to grow their own fruit. There are many delicious varieties to choose from, though I would recommend fugi, gala, golden delicious, and granny smith (all great varieties to eat straight off the branch). One mature apple tree can garner 50-150 pounds of apples per year.
Sweet cherries require a lot of maintenance, but sour cherries (which are delicious in pies and tarts) work well in most areas of Missouri. However, sour cherry trees (like all stone fruits) aren’t as reliable in Northern Missouri. So if you live north of Kansas City, this might not be the best choice for you. A mature cherry tree can give you between 40 and 120 pounds of cherries each year.
Harvested in the summertime, fuzzy and juicy peaches are the perfect snack on a hot summer’s day. Peach trees should be planted on higher ground for good drainage and it’s best to choose a hardy variety that can stand up well to cold winters, such as reliance, encore, or redhaven. You can look forward to 150-250 pounds of peaches each year once your tree is mature. Like cherries, peach trees are not reliable north of Kansas City.
Crisp and sweet, pears begin to ripen in early fall. Pear trees can easily catch fireblight (a bacterial disease), so be sure to buy a blight-resistant variety like moonglow, starkling delicious, or kieffer. Pear trees grow well in all parts of Missouri and a mature pear tree can produce between 400 and 650 pounds of pears each year.
That perfect combination of sweet and sour, plums are a great choice for a Missouri backyards. In just a year, a mature plum tree can produce 40-120 pounds of plums. However, plums are a stone fruit, so this tree will not be dependable if planted north of Kansas City.