Most homeowners don't have the same kind of space for growing fruit trees that, say, a commercial grower has. Homeowners also wish to keep their fruit trees smaller than commercial trees. For these reasons fruit trees are often planted closer together on residential lots than they are in a commercial orchard. Still, minimum distances should be maintained between fruit trees to prevent an overcrowded look and to maintain the health of the trees.
Choose the type of trees you want to plant. Consider whether you'll be planting standard, semi-dwarf or dwarf varieties. Different varieties require different spacing (semi-dwarf and dwarf trees require the least).
Mark the area in which you plan to plant your trees.
Ensure sufficient space between your planting marks before digging your holes. When planting standard apple trees allow 25 feet between trees. Semi-dwarf apples need 18 feet of space between them and dwarf apples require 12 feet. Apricots need 18 feet of space; so do plums. Standard pear trees need 25 feet while a dwarf pear needs about half as much space.
Measure the distance to fences and walls as well as between the trees themselves. Allow the same space between trees and walls as you do between the trees.
Once you have determined how many of which variety you can fit within the space you have, dig your holes.