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Transplanting always sets a plant back, since it disturbs the delicate roots; my suggestion would be to plant the trees in their final planting spot if possible. Smaller plants recover more quickly from transplanting than larger ones, so I don't think an additional year in your nursery would necessarily help. You will, however, need to provide the new transplants with water during dry spells. (This would be true no matter what the size of the newly planted tree.) If the area is exceptionally windy, you might want to rig up some temporary windbreaks, such as a snow fence, to help the trees get established.
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