Posted: 17/05/2014 at 14:05
Here are some suggestions....May or may not apply:
*is the rootstock graft (knobbly bit on trunk) at least 20cms above soil level? If not replant and fill in hole base with 20cm depth of good organic compost.
*is the soil compacted and dry or constantly damp? Walls are useful for training plants, storing and bouncing back heat but can create rain shadows,, light shadow and wind turbulence. Builder may have left vast amounts of hardcore under wall too.
* was the sapling firmed in so no air pockets were left? Roots must have direct contact for osmosis (exchange) of the good stuff. Again replant if they wobble.
*moss indicates cool, damp and dim conditions. East facing is ok but not ideal site. Good for raspberries but plums, and other drupes like South and SouthWest more.
*these look young so I would encourage root growth and not tax them with fruiting for a few years. I would cut back the leading growth to the first lateral shoot and cut back side shoots to five leaves or buds.
* all crops needs feeding so water then mulch but in dry spells water well as that wall will increase transpiration
(in my humble opinion fruits seem to do better biannually. Good every second year and just ok in the first year. No proof for that just my observation)
Hope you find the cause and the saplings pull through x