Care for an apple tree by planting it in a spot with the appropriate amount of sunlight and soil that is not too wet. Prune it to remove dead branches, and shape it to give the apples room to grow. Fertilize the tree once a year, and remove weeds from around the base of the tree.
Apple trees thrive in sunny locations and well-drained soil. Water them weekly during the first year of growth, and make sure they receive at least 1 inch of water per week after the first year. Amend the soil as needed to ensure adequate drainage.
Prune an apple tree the winter after planting it. Create a strong, central leader with four or five scaffold branches. Continue to prune each season, adding a layer of scaffold branches 24 to 36 inches above the prior year's growth. Remove diseased and upright limbs, and shorten the length of new shoot growth by one-fourth.
Fertilize an apple tree one month after planting, and continue to fertilize the tree once each year in early spring. Avoid fertilizer contact with the tree. Clear weeds from an area at least as large as the spread of the limbs by pulling them or by applying an herbicide.