A significant factor influencing the survival rate of seedlings is dependent upon the care the seedlings receive from the time they are lifted at the nursery until they are transplanted.  Successful survival is dependent upon several things, some of the more important ones over which we have some control are mentioned here. 
 1. Temperature
Temperature needs to be maintained between 33 degrees and 40 degrees Fahrenheit until they are planted.  There are exceptions to this rule, but under no exception should they be allowed to break dormancy prior to planting.  We recommend no more than eight hours outside these parameters.  The nursery will insure that after they are lifted until given to the customer, they will be taken care of.  It is recommended that the seedlings be picked up in some type of refrigerated container, in case of mechanical breakdown, etc. 
2. Proper Planting
The plantings need to be set according to forestry commission guidelines.  The inspectors can tell if the depth is right, if the roots are placed correctly, if the seedling was dead and so on.  If they do not follow you from the time the trees are received at the nursery until planting, they cannot be sure of the treatment the seedlings received in transit and after delivery.  As a general rule are unable to do this because of lack of personnel and other resources.  There are several free publications from several government agencies as well as on the web.
3.  Viable Organism
A seedling is a living plant.  It is dormant when lifted at the nursery, but the cells are still moving.  It needs to be treated as an infant.  Give it proper care and it will pay back huge dividends.  If the landowner cannot be present, then you need to trust the planting personnel.
"As the twig is bent, so shall the tree be inclined."  Alexander Pope 

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