When to Prune Apple Trees in Missouri

Missouri is an exceptional state for growing apple trees. The soil is often rich, and the temperatures are warm enough in the summer to produce juicy and sweet apples and cold during the winter to enhance fruit production. The number of chill-hours in Missouri makes the state suitable to grow most apple varieties. But besides knowing about which species work well for your hardiness zones, you must learn when to prune apple trees in Missouri.

Quick Answer:

In Missouri, prune your apple tree between February and mid-March to allow it to recover before the spring arrives and prevent it from attacks from harmful pests and diseases

When to Prune Apple Trees in Missouri

Carrying out this process at the right time will boost fruit production and keep your tree healthy. Failing to prune or doing it when the tree is still growing or susceptible to diseases might irreversibly cause damage to your plant.

If the idea of planting a fruit tree in your yard excites you, ensure you know how to provide it with what it needs to thrive. That includes knowing the best time of the year for pruning.

Don’t worry: it is not as complex as you might think. All you have to do is prune your apple tree during the dormancy period and avoid overdoing it. But let’s jump to the next section to have a clear idea about which months work best for pruning if you live in Missouri.

When to Prune Apple Trees in Missouri

The best time to prune any fruit tree is during the dormant season. Trim your tree before new leaves start forming to enhance production and give them enough space to develop.

In Missouri, prune your apple tree between February and mid-March to allow it to recover before the spring arrives and prevent it from attacks from harmful pests and diseases. Indeed, pruning makes a tree vulnerable. Doing it during the spring makes it susceptible to insects and too weak to recover. Winter is usually the best time to prune an apple tree to strengthen it.

Be aware that pruning your apple trees too late might prevent your tree from hardening before spring and halt growth. On the contrary, pruning your trees too early might cause irreversible damage by frost or snow.

Don’t forget to prune your tree regularly and consistently each year to ensure healthy fruit production for longer. Indeed, under proper conditions, apple trees can produce fruits for as long as twenty years.

What Varieties to Plant in Missouri

When to Prune Apple Trees in Missouri
Pruning is a crucial step to ensure your tree grows into a healthy and productive plant. However, choosing a variety that works for your reason also will affect how well your plant grows.

Luckily, Missouri has the perfect climate for growing apple trees. You can pick from a wide selection. But planting a suitable tree for your region is only half of the job: you will still have to provide it with what it needs to thrive. Each variety might have different requirements in terms of sunlight and soil conditions. Ensure you can meet them before planting an apple tree in your garden.

If you need some inspiration to find a suitable apple tree to grow in Missouri, don’t worry. We included a couple of our favorites in this section.


The Jonathan apple tree is a large plant that produces plenty of fruits under proper care. It performs well in Missouri. The rich soils and warm days of the region will ensure delicious apples. However, you will have to monitor your tree for diseases with this variety. Jonathan is susceptible to most: you might have to apply treatment for better yields.

Red Delicious

Red Delicious is another suitable variety for Missouri. This plant is resistant to most diseases and less challenging to grow than Jonathan. Place it under the full sun for best results. Consider adding mulch around the tree base to increase water retention and improve the nutrient content.

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious is an excellent variety for Missouri: it is resistant to most diseases and will yield high-quality fruits under the ideal conditions. Golden delicious apples are crisp and juicy. You will notice that home-grown fruits taste nothing like those you purchase at the supermarket!

Gold Rush

Gold Rush is a versatile apple tree variety that grows well in most conditions. While you can grow it in warmer climates, you will have excellent results with this plant in Missouri. The fruits need some storage in a cool and dry setting before consumption.

Missouri Gardening Guides

You may find these guides to popular fruits and vegetables that grow well in the show me state helpful too: