This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
There is no doubt of the benefit of autumn planting for trees or vines, provided they are duly protected against the heaving frosts of winter. We have planted our cherries in September, and always with good results. Our pears and apples we prefer to plant never later than October, if we can possibly obtain them. The early planted tree, while the ground is yet warm, forms new fibrous roots, enabling it more successfully to resist the winter's changes, and to supply food as soon as wanted for the spring growth. If our trees are procured from a distance, and do not arrive in season to plant early, we make it a point to prepare our ground and have everything ready, so that when they do come, no time need be lost in planting them. Clay lands are better if worked in the fall when somewhat dry; at any rate they should not be plowed when wet, if it can be avoided, for once they get packed down hard in the fall, no benefit comes from winter's frosts, and often the spring gives no relief. If the ground for planting is level and somewhat stiff, with only a slight surface drainage, do not plant the tree too deep, but after planting go through with the plow and throw the earth up to the trees, leaving between each row an open furrow drain to hold and carry off the water during winter.