You may need to stake newly planted fruit trees, especially if they are bare-root or if they're in a windy location and want to tip over. Support them only for the first year or two; remove the stakes after that so your trees can develop a sturdy trunk and root system.
One of the simplest ways to support a young tree is to use a single stake about as tall as the tree. Drive the stake in the ground about 18 inches deep and about 6 inches away from the edge of the planting hole. Use heavy wire wrapped by a section of old garden hose and tie the tree to the stake using a figure-8 pattern. (The hose prevents the wire from grinding against the bark.)
Test Garden Tip: Avoid pulling the wire tight because it can damage the tree. The trunk should be able to move lightly in any direction if you push against it.
Continued on page 3: Pruning