As long as the trees remain dormant and the roots are kept moist, they can be stored for a few days before being planted. If they are kept in cold storage (without any other fruits present), aim for a temperature of 2°C to 3°C. The roots should be covered, otherwise the ventilation system may dry them out.
The easiest and most practical storage method is to place the trees in an empty apple crate that is bottom-lined with polyethylene or a tarp. Once the trees are placed in the crate, the crate should be filled with enough sand, shavings or other substance to cover the roots and keep them moist. A 42″ x 48” crate will hold approximately 700 one-year-old trees or 300 two-year-old trees. This should provide you with an idea of the number of crates you will need to store your order of apple trees.