Morels seem to prefer the company/shade of poplar trees and also elm, ash, maple and even fruit trees. Morels also enjoy mossy areas, dead tree stumps and semi-freshly imbered areas. But these are all signs of hope. Morels can really be found in the oddest of places.
Morels start popping up in the early spring when the ground is warming up, fern fronds are poking up. After a night of rain it is perfect. If it's too dry, most morels won't be convinced to come out of hiding. They need warm, damp ground.