When should bare-root trees be planted?

FAQ
Question: 

When should bare-root trees be planted?

Answer: 

As the name suggests, bare-root trees and shrubs have no soil around their roots.  Bare-root nursery stock is dug in late fall, placed in cold storage, and then is shipped to garden centers or directly to consumers in early spring.  Bare-root trees and shrubs must be planted in early spring before growth begins.  If rainy weather or other circumstances prevent planting within a few days of purchase, store bare-root material in a cool location, such as a garage or root cellar, until planting is possible.