Fruit trees which you plant are going to be around a long time, so the more preparation you make
before you plant them, the better results you will achieve in the long term.
Most important is the soil in which they are to live, so either incorporate plenty of well rotted manure or if the existing soil is very poor, excavate a sufficiently large hole and refill with top grade soil - but still include the manure!
When planting young trees, using a stake to support them in the first couple of years will avoid gale damage and allow them to send out a strong root structure. The stake should only reach about a third of the height of the tree which enables the crown to flex strengthening the trunk, but the base will remain fixed which encourages root growth.
Pruning is usually undertaken during winter months when the tree is dormant and the aim is to allow
air and light to reach into the interior of the tree helping to ripen the fruit.
Aim to end up with a "goblet" shaped tree with an open centre and start by removing any dead or damaged branches. Cut close to the trunk without leaving a snag which could become infected. Next take out any branches which are rubbing or crossing to help improve the overall shape. Thereafter, further pruning will depend upon the type of tree involved as different trees have varying requirements, so you will need to further investigate your particular variety.
Most fruit trees are generally very trouble free and apart from annual pruning and a feed of well rotted manure they should cause little trouble once they have become established, although some loving care and attention in the first year or so of life will bear dividends. Thorough watering when the soil is very dry will ensure the production of a good root system, but avoid waterlogging the area which can have an adverse effect, and keeping the immediate area weed free will allow rain to pass easily through.
Unless you plan to plant trees specifically cultivated for growing against a wall, try to ensure plenty of space to allow maximum light, air and most importantly rain to reach them. If planting in grass then it's good practice to leave a circle of exposed soil around the base of the trunk which will allow easy watering whilst the tree is becoming established, and more manure to be added each winter.
It is very unlikely that you will encounter anything more than minimal leaf or fruit damage and if anything unusual is noticed in most cases it is unlikely to prove serious. However, peach trees specifically are very liable to suffer from disfiguring leaf curl which should be controlled by suitable spraying immediately it is noticed. Apples can be affected by sawfly/codling moth which results in maggots within the fruit, but a winter spray or grease band around the trunk will help to minimise this damage.
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