The best time to plant an apple tree depends on geographic location. In cold-weather climates, apple trees should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. In places with mild winter temperatures, apple trees can be successfully planted during autumn.
Apple trees should be planted in areas that receive at least six hours of full sun on a daily basis. Although the trees are not terribly fussy about soils, they require good drainage to thrive. A north- or east-facing slope generally provides the best exposure for most varieties of apples.
Homeowners should check with a local nursery about which varieties grow best in the area. Certain types of apple trees that thrive in regions where winters are cold may languish in locations that feature mild winters, and vice versa.