So get serious about getting those roots opened up. For some root balls, you may be able to hand massage the roots apart. But for those that are tightly massed and growing in a circle, it will require using a sharp knife, pruners, or sharp square spade to cut the roots loose; making several vertical cuts down the outside of the root ball 1-2 inches deep. You may even cut away some of the mat of roots from the sides and bottom. This practice is not harmful to the plants, but yet stimulating root regrow, water penetration and getting the new plant off to a great start. Loosening the roots is a must for your plants to be successful.