Work the soil with a shovel to a depth of at least one foot. Dig a planting hole in the middle of the worked soil, 6 inches deeper than the tree’s root ball and twice as wide. Do not add fertilizer or soil amendments. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball of the tree. When transplanting a small sapling, this could be a few inches. Don’t plant too deep. Planting it deeper stress the tree.
Refill the bottom 6 inches of the planting hole with loose soil. Place the tree’s root ball in the planting hole, then fill around the root ball with soil. Tamp down the soil occasionally with the back of the shovel. Water thoroughly after transplanting. Mulch with shredded wood. Don’t plant too deep.
Your young tree may burn from direct afternoon sun. If the planting location is not shaded in the afternoons, build a sunscreen.
Evergreens may be planted at any time when the ground is not frozen. Mild spring and fall temperatures work better than summer heat.