When to plant your trees in Georgia
It might seem strange or counter-intuitive to plant trees in the fall since winter is coming and many people think winter is the hardest time of the year for plants to survive. That's completely logical from a human perspective, but not accurate for plants in the temperate region that includes much of North America since summer's hot, dry periods are much harder on newly transplanted plants. Summer planting is better for shrubs, evergreens, ornamental grasses, ferns and other perennials too. Annuals and tropical plants must still be planted in the spring since they are not winter hardy.
Let me explain. Even when leaves are off trees in late fall and during the winter, as long as the ground isn't frozen root activity is going on. By planting in Autumn, the tiny roots that do most of the water and nutrient collecting for the plant have three full seasons to get re-established after transplanting before dealing with summer's hot, dry season. As droughts can be such a problem in Georgia, having up to 9 months of much less root stress can make such a huge difference in successful transplantation.
Even in fall it is a really good idea to keep an eye on the soil moisture after what can often be a long, dry summer. Even with good rains, it is often true that it takes several rains to get the water to move down into the soil to any depth. With trees' large crown of leaves water demands can be strong. To help insure success of newly planted trees you can use a great product that I have used called Treegator that can be filled with any regular garden hose and this portable drip irrigation bag slowly drips water right at the root ball zone. With water restrictions an issue in certain locations or at certain times of the year, being able to precisely target water where it will be used with no run-off is great.