I have an eastern red cedar tree, about 8' tall, with a trunk about 2" in diam at the ground, which appears to my naive eye to be growing normally. I also have a different spot that I would rather put it in, in my front yard. Is it practical at all to consider digging it up and moving it to a different spot about 30 feet away? I have no botanical knowledge at all so I could not possibly guess if this would kill the tree in a New York minute. I also have no idea at all how heavy the roots and dirt would be, assuming I could even get down to the proper amount of dirt to preserve the roots, etc. Is this just a totally dumb idea entirely? Should I just spend the money and have professionals plant an entirely new one where I want it?
It sounds like the tree is still fairly young which is good news if you want to move it. You will need to excavate it by digging at least a few feet wider than the drip line and then the trick is to get as deep under it to capture as much of the taproot system as possible. It is all going to be very heavy so you should plan on having a piece of equipment on hand to move it.
If I were you, I would call an arborist or tree transplanting/surgery company to get an estimate on doing it for you. They will have equipment that can scoop and carry the root ball intact and plunk it where you want it. Your new transplant whole should be at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the root ball and well ammended with organic matter. You don't want high nitrogen fertilizers on conifers like cedars.
Not sure where you are but Fall would be a good time to move it if you are going to do this. If your landscape will accommodate another tree you might be better off adding a new one.