I planted a nectarine and an apricot earlier in the season. Even though people tell me that the weather here is not quite up to what they need, I am banking on global warming to deliver a decent crop over the years. Yesterday I planted one of two apples trees that I have bought. Apples are not self-fertile, so you have to plant two different kinds to cross-pollinate, and I chose Granny Smith and Gala. Granny Smith for cooking and Gala for eating.
It doesn't pay to be in a hurry when you plant a tree, especially here. The soil is full of rocks and stones, and hitting a big one of these can mean you spend the rest of the afternoon trying to hoik it out of the ground. I dedicated yesterday afternoon to planting, and it was the right amount of time.
First, fetch your tree, and decide where you're going to plant it. Put a stake in the ground to mark the spot, and using a spade, clear the turf from around it in a circle of about 1m diameter.
Then dig out the hole to twice the depth of the root ball, and fill it back up with good compost until it is a little deeper than the root ball. Plant the tree and refill the hole with a mix of compost and the soil you have dug out. Make a crater out of the soil so that when you water the tree, the water flows towards, rather than away from, the roots. Water it.
A maths teacher once pointed out to me that you can't have half a hole. He had a good point, (though you can have half a whole, of course) but this hole is half as deep as it needs to be, so I claim disproof by counter-example.