I have determined that fruit trees prefer to be abused, ignored, and basically misused.
I planted a dozen fruit trees, well cleared woods area, plenty of daylight, deeply dug holes, enriched, you name it. They were awesome.
They all died the first winter, notta thing left but a rotten stem.
The next go round, I bought 3 trees, and just as I arrived home, I got a phone call from the Army that my son was injured in Iraq, to get my passport in order.
Well, long story short, those trees got small holes, barely dug, right under a black walnut tree... to hold them, until I dealt with the crisis.
I went to Germany for 2 weeks, to be with my son. He is now okay.
I got home and on the third day home, recovering from jet lag, and catching up my house, unpacking etc... I managed to re-break my right hand and discovered it had been broken for about 2 months, and I thought it was only bruised. Well, the cast made it definite this time.
How to re-plant trees with a cast... wait it out.
Well, those trees survived with haphazard watering, and little more.
No compost, no mulch, no decent holes, nothing.
The next spring, I expected to pull out dead stems... they lived!
The first ones ever... Second winter one died...
It is now 5 years later and they are still alive. The peach tree sets fruits when the weather doesn't kill the blooms, but the apricot just makes leaves.
I did build boxes around them, and fill them with aged compost and keep it topped up now. But, they survived, the blackwalnut roots, the poorly prepared hole, the clay soil, the lack of care.... all of it.
I will never baby fruit trees again... it kills them.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!