If you purchased a living Christmas tree, now is the time to consider taking down the ornaments and bringing the tree outside to plant, or at least keep it in a shady location until soil dries enough to plant. Think about the location you are going to plant the tree and consider the mature dimensions, especially of height. Do not plant under power lines, or where anything above will interfere with the growing tip. Also check soil drainage to make sure there is no high water table which would drown the roots. Remember these trees often come from hilly or mountainous regions where drainage is excellent. If you cannot plant soon, keep the tree in a shady location and prevent excess wind from drying up the tree. Cover with an old sheet or similar material, avoiding tarps if possible since they can dessicate a tree if the sun shines on them for long periods. Keep the plant well watered until planted.
In planting, make your hole wider than deep. Remove any binding material like burlap or twine and expose the soil ball and roots. Install a stake at this time if one is needed. If you first make a cone of soil (hill) in the center of the planting hole, you can set the tree’s root ball on top of that and match surrounding soil grade much easier. The final grade level of the tree should match or be slightly higher than the surrounding soil when planting is completed. Once you are satisfied with the level, you can backfill the soil. If you periodically use water to settle the soil (the way Nature does it), then you will keep those small air spaces in the soil, so necessary for good root growth and soil structure when planting is completed. That watering should be enough to keep the plant hydrated until growth initiates in spring (considering we have the continued rains as often as we are getting this year). If storm winds tilt the tree off center, gently rock it back to upright position and slightly firm that soil back. Removing most of the exposed burlap is important since it can wick out moisture later on when it warms up.