Trees need a lot of help in the first five years of their life. When you plant a new tree, its root system has to completely regrow, and it can only do this if there is enough moisture. A good way of helping the tree in this regard is to put mulch on the ground around it. The mulch retains moisture levels in the soil and encourages the bacterial activity that causes its own gradual breakdown, so that it enters the soil and adds nutrients. Trees love organic matter. But mulch can also have a negative side. Do fruit trees attract mice – the answer is yes, because mice may make their nests under the mulch and in the winter months they may eat the bark of the tree. This can be avoided by ensuring that the mulch is not in direct contact with the trunk.
Another important aspect of planting a new tree is to protect it from deer, muntjacs, hares and rabbits. As soon as you have planted a tree, put a guard on it straight away. In the case of deer, a higher protection may be necessary. Further information about planting and training fruit trees on the RealEnglishFruit website:
https://realenglishfruit.co.uk/planting-and-training/