Bare rooting Red Cedar that size is WAY different than Transplanting a RC that size with the root ball intact
I have transplanted some absolute WHOPPERS with the soil attached to the roots, Biggest were 8' trees transplanted with a spade shovel. As long as the soil stays packed around the roots and doesn't fall apart when popping it out, You're good.
Bare rooting a bigger tree, you have to have a close root/tree ratio to ensure success.
That is why the bigger trees usually are sold potted, or balled and burlaped.
Sorry to see dead trees like that when you put that much time and effort into a planting, Hope they pull through, some good rains might bounce them back
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