Some places in the country may be able to get away with just digging a hole, putting a tree in and covering it with soil. This is not the average situation by no means. Most homeowners are face with a variety of different soil types and drainage issues. Here are a few simple ideas on what to consider when planting a fruit tree.
First and most important is drainage. The most common reason for fruit trees to struggle or die is due to poor drainage. The best time to get familiar with your drainage is during the wettest part of winter. Watch the locations in your yard and make note of how long the water stands in any area after a heavy rain. Locations that take over 5-6 hours to drain-off are potential problem areas.
When drainage is determined to be good with no long-standing water the hole required is not so difficult to dig. The idea of planting a $10.00 tree in a $20.00 hole filled with all sorts of amendments is not recommended anymore. This is for any number of different reasons. The one I like the best is that the tree will have to survive in the native soil that is in your yard, the sooner it gets established in that soil the better. Save your amendments for mulch to cover your surface area.
The simple hole for areas of good drainage are ones that are dug to the depth of the container or Bare root tree you are planting. The hole should be in the shape of a cone tapering up and out from the center of the hole. Not twice as wide and twice as deep. For bare root a slight mound of soil in the center of the hole to spread the trees roots into and insure that the root space is filled with soil.
The soil line in the container or on the trunk of the bare root tree should be the soil line that exists when you are done planting. Planting too deep in many soils will result in the death of the tree.