Apple trees should be planted where they can receive sunlight for most of the day. In most of the South, gently sloping hillsides facing northeast or east are optimum. Be sure to plant in soil that drains well (water should not stand for more than a few hours after heavy rains). Definitely avoid floodplains. Plant in soil that does not have a root-inhibiting layer. Rocky soils are acceptable as long as the rocks are not so extensive as to limit the tree roots to the top foot or so of soil. Also be careful to avoid large bodies of sandrock underlying soil or a grayish, dense clay. Both of these can inhibit water drainage.