Delectable with soft, sweet flesh and a colorful yellow and salmon-red skin, the Fuji apple (Malus domestica "Fuji") is a productive fruit tree for a home orchard. Digging a planting hole that is the same depth as the tree's root ball but up to twice as wide is a sound guideline, although in heavy clay soils the plant can sit high in the hole for optimal drainage. The addition of an organic mulch over the root zone also assists in establishing the apple tree.
Measure the depth of the Fuji apple tree's root ball with a tape measure. Likewise, determine the width of the root ball. These data guide the digging of an appropriately sized hole.
Dig a hole with a garden shovel in the location you wish to place the apple tree. Make the hole equally as deep as tree's root ball but twice as wide as the measurements taken in Step 1. Break up any clumps of soil with the back of the shovel.
Remeasure the hole on occasion to ensure it is the proper dept and width for the tree's root ball. Make the bottom of the hole even and flat so the tree will sit properly. Add or remove soil gradually as needed when you remeasure and finalize the planting hole.
Remove the Fuji apple plant from its container and place it in the hole. If the tree is B&B (balled and burlapped), do not remove the burlap, but set it fully wrapped in the hole after any wire or nylon roping is removed. Try to keep the soil of the tree's root ball intact during this moving process.
Scratch the root ball with your hand or shovel to gently jar loose and cut thin roots in the root ball. Irritating the root ball in three to four locations promotes new root production out into the soil.
Place soil back around the root ball, only lightly tamping it as the hole fills. Pull back the burlap on B&B root balls so the soil fully covers the top flaps. Do not allow any burlap to remain exposed to the air, as this will cause detrimental drying of the soil.
Water the root ball and backfill soil around the newly planted Fuji apple tree. Create a small berm moat around the tree if desired so water pools atop the tree root zone and slowly soaks down.
Scatter a top-dressing organic mulch, such as compost, bark or pinestraw, atop the planting area once you finish watering the tree. The mulch, at a depth of 3 to 5 inches, helps retain moisture, shades the soil, prevent weeds and provides nutrients and humus. Keep the mulch 3 inches away from the base of the tree trunk, however.
Water the tree once a day for first two weeks so that the soil and root ball remain moist, but never waterlogged or in soft mud. The next three to six weeks, water every two to four days so the soil is moist. From weeks seven through 12, water every seven to 12 days. After four months, water as needed. The tree should be established after six to 12 months of growth after the planting event.