Plant trees as quickly as possible after their arrival from a nursery into a well-prepared site. Dig a wide but shallow hole (about 24” wide by 12-15” deep). Place the tree in the hole and check to see if the roots spread out into the hole without hitting the edges or curling. Cut off any damaged or broken roots and any roots that are excessively long (12+ inches). Place the tree in the hole and backfill with the original soil. Press the soil firmly around the roots and water immediately. For trees on size-controlling (dwarfing) rootstocks, be sure the graft union is 3 to 4 inches above the final soil line. If soil is placed around the scion, the scion will root and the dwarfing influence of the rootstock will be lost.
If trees are well branched (3 to 4 branches evenly spaced around the tree and at a good height) keep the branches. If there are no branches or if the branches are all on one side, cut the tree to about 36 inches and remove any side branches. New side branches will begin to grow from buds below the heading cut.