When buying a tree, always check to be sure it's healthy: no dead branches, splits or damage to the trunk. A damaged trunk interrupts the flow of water up and sugars down the tree. A tree may recover, but a damaged trunk can ultimately kill a tree.
Native to North America, honeylocusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) have fern-like leaves that provide airy shade, so they are a good choice if you want shade but not too much. The species has fierce thorns and grows well over 80 feet tall, but cultivars are thornless and grow to about 40 feet. They need full sun and are hardy in zones 3 (-40°F) to 7 (0°F).
Whether spring or fall, trees are planted the same way: Dig a hole twice as wide as it is deep, set the tree in the hole to the depth of the root flare, backfill with soil, water deeply and mulch.
Don’t fertilize; that encourages top growth that may be killed by frost. You want the tree to concentrate on root growth.