We have been nursery-ing 9 fruit trees since the spring: 3 apple, 2 pear, 2 cherry, 2 peach. They have been living in our fruit + herb garden, fenced in from predators. A few weeks ago, I cut their roots (by sticking a long, straight shovel in the ground) at about a 1 foot radius, which will make it easier to transplant them next spring.
Four future tree sites.
We've selected strategic spots for fruit trees - on slopes, north-facing, full sun, good drainage - and have finally prepped the land: we removed the sod of a 5 foot diameter circle, sprinkled on lime and a "fall fruit tree mix" which contains lots of essential minerals and nutrients, added 5 cu-ft of compost and topped with another 5 cu-ft of wood chips. Over the winter these organic materials will decompose and stimulate micro-organism activity. Come spring, we will transplant out our soon-to-be 3-year-old fruit trees... the start of our orchard and another step to a fully ecological farm.