My sams club fruit trees did not take. WTF one of them is sprouting down low, but the original tree is pretty much dead.
You most likely planted them too deep or amended the soil too much, or over watered them.
Over watering is the number one killer of new trees, specifically around here.
What you're seeing is the root stock is starting to grow back, but the main part of the tree is dead. Most trees are grafted at the base to a more suitable root stock (like all roses you buy) and if the plant material at the bottom looks a bit different than the top, its the root stock taking over.
This is the same reason you always trim any new grown thats under the graft point on a rose, if you dont it'll become dominant and take over and you'll eventually trim out the variety of rose you bought.
$600... how about I just tell you that I am going to buy something off of you, then never pick it up and not show up when you bring it out?
What is considered over watering? I have my drip system running 3 times a week for 8 minutes? I cannot remember what my GPM is, but each tree had two.
well you aint over watering, but run time and emitter rate only means so much, if you have sandy soil then you can run for 3x as long and still be under watering, but if you have clay sooil you can be watering the same amount and drowining the plant because drainage takes alot longer. Clay soils have very low infiltration rates.
However, judging by that picture and the fact that I cannot see any of the root ball/potting material (dirt was used to cover the entire root ball) I'm going to say you planted too deep.
Roots need air and water. If they cannot get one or the other, they die. Planting a tree too deep will instantly doom it.