As far as the lesson goes, always make sure you source your plant material from a reputable nursery. These were purchased from a well known mail order nursery and were warrantied for a year. I was definitely bummed they didn't make it, but I did get credit for the trees that didn't make it. I received a bunch of other plants on that same order from the same nursery and they are growing great.
So always go with a reputable nursery that way if there is a issue with some of your plants you have some recourse. It's always sad when trees you plant don't make it but at least this time I figured it out right away so I can still get replacements in the ground this year.