My father taught me to gently rub the ends of the roots round the ball before planting. Just some dumb BS that he said worked. Did in the cold months when they were dormant. Typical rootball was about the size of a basketball, with a point on the bottom. 4 evenly spaced spades around the base and pop em up. But, depending on the soil around the tree, some would crumble and wouldn't be near that size, and still survived. Actually, if you kill a cedar tree you're doing something. lol I was grabbing trees anywhere from 2-3 feet tall, about the size it looks like you were getting. Nephews were having fun and getting big fat 4-5 footers, which was fun to watch. Nearly all mine survived and only a few of theirs died. 1/3-1/2 Five-gallon bucket of water on each and done.