Mulching your tree.
The main purpose of mulching fruit trees is to contain the water that is available to the tree.
Mulch should be applied after the soil has been well saturated so that the moisture is sealed below it and is then giving protection from evaporation in hot weather.
The actual mulch can be many materials from straw to well rotted manure.
The later thou should only be used if the tree is poor growing as it is high in N.
If manure is used keep it away from the trunk of the tree as it can cause damage through ' burning '.
It is interesting though that most growers who have large old trees allow the grass to grow right up to the tree without useing mullch for two reasons.
1. In general large trees have a more than adequate root system to deal with water needs unless drought conditions apply.
2. More importantly grass replaces Pottasium levels much better in the soil than anything else. Very usefull in old trees where this element is so necessary.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.