Why locate? For one it’s free and secondly it covers your a$$. Are you wanting to plant that tree on top of an electric line? No. You think that axe or shovel won’t penetrate a cable line, it sure will. Not locating is what all the guys who work for straight cash do. To stake or not to stake depends on your situation/environment. We don’t leave them staked for years. Typically pull them around 3-4 months once the roots have established well enough. On that note, I have a customer who just had an evergreen fall over last week. Not one we planted, it had been there since the house was built 10+ years ago. It’s about 4’ diameter, maybe 8’ tall. It’s in the flower bed around their house. When I say fell over, I mean fell over, pulled the soil up, roots intact, tree still alive - happened after a thunder storm. I also have a customer who has several Blue Cedar Atlas’s leaning pretty good. They’ve been there for about 5 years and we didn’t plant those. Guess what, we have to go stake/tie those next week. Maybe you don’t have to stake/tie trees but around here you will unless you want to keep replacing them when they fall over. We don’t always have excess soil to haul away but a lot of times we do. Lots of rocks and heavy clay soil here. The tree farm is about 45 minutes one way, for us. So yeah, we typically purchase/pick them up prior to plant day. We like to have our materials at the shop prior to the scheduled start date. Use down time/rain days to pick up whatever we don’t have delivered. I don’t really like running around frantically trying to secure all the materials needed the day of the install. Get everything a few days prior to the start date and have it loaded ready to go the night before the start date. If you like running around on start dates, do your thing but it’s not for me.