Bare-root trees should be planted immediately. If this is not possible they can be heeled-in. Never keep fruit trees indoors in a heated house.
We recommend you dig over the planting area well in advance, loosen the soil and allow it to settle. However do not dig planting holes in advance.
Dip the roots in a bucket of water for about 1-2 hours just before planting.
Do NOT add compost or fertilizer to the planting hole (unless you are planting on re-claimed building land).
Apply a bucket of water after planting.
If you have rabbits or deer in the area, you MUST protect the trees immediately - otherwise they will be eaten, usually the night after you have planted them. Chicken wire is the best protection against most animals.
NEVER keep fruit trees indoors. If the weather is too cold to plant, keep them in an un-heated garage and contact us.
If you notice any problems at all with your trees after planting, contact us immediately - do not wait until May or June to tell us something is not right. We would rather have a false alarm than be told of a problem too late to rectify it.
Most fruit trees benefit from being supported at the time of planting, but maiden trees on very vigorous "standard" or "seedling" rootstocks do not necessarily need supporting.
After planting, make sure you apply a mulch around the base of the tree, it is one of the best things you can do to help the tree get established, as it keeps weeds away and helps retain moisture.
If you have rabbits or other rodents or deer in the vicinity you must protect your new trees immediately. These animals will strip the bark from young fruit trees and the trees will then die. The best protection in mosts situations is chicken wire, as it allows air flow around the tree. The forestry-type spiral or tube guards can be used on a temporary basis but they create an unhealthy microclimate around the graft union in the longer term.
During the first spring and summer after planting pay particular attention to watering your fruit trees - watering advice here.