We bought a 4 foot Jonathan apple tree that looked very healthy and had a big clump of green leaves on the top. However, about a week after planting it in the ground, the leaves have turned soft and brown (none have fallen off) and they are drooping. What could be the problem? I am concerned that maybe the part of the lawn where we planted it might be too wet, since when it rains there seems to be a thin layer of standing water around it. What do you think? Our property is covered 90% by softwood forest and the ground seems to be wet everywhere, even in the summer.
If there is standing water near the tree in the area around the tree, this is poorly draining soil and your trees roots are too wet.
If the conditions do not improve and the soil can't drain away the water the tree will most likely die from root rot.
Here is a link to refresh you the growing conditions needed for an Apple Tree.