עברית

Issues involved in planting trees in my home garden

Question

If I bought sapling for my garden at home, when I bought them from a person who I don’t know (he looks like he is religious; he was wearing a kipa), is there a problem for me to plant them in my garden? Please note that there are five different trees: 1) lemon, 2) orange, 3) tangerine, 4) pomelo, 5) guava.

Thank you.

Answer

Rabbi David Eigner

The main problem that could be present with the trees you listed could be grafting in a prohibited manner, kila’im. This is true for all of the citrus trees (guava is generally grafted onto the same species).

For citrus, the best thing to do is to find out which scions and rootstocks were used, since some combinations are permissible while others are problematic. The latter should be planted by a non-Jew.

There is another issue about orlah. Since generally we don’t know for sure that a tree in the nursery was connected to the ground the whole time, the orlah count begins from the time the tree is planted in your yard.