Calculating orlah years and neta revay for new and mature trees
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Thank G-d we moved into our new home and planted young saplings on 1 Kislev 5774. Can we eat from the fruit now? If not now, when? My uncle planted more mature trees. Do the same laws apply in this instance? If the fruit is still forbidden for consumption, what do we do with the fruit? Can you also explain, in detail, what I am supposed to do in the fourth year?
1. The prohibition of orlah applies to fruit growing in a tree’s first three years. In the fourth year, the fruit is considered neta revay. If you planted the tree on 1 Kislev 5774, the fruit that bloomed after Tu Bishevat 5777 are neta revay; that is, only the fruits that are ripe at the end of 5777 have neta revay status.
2. Neta revay fruit needs to be redeemed on a coin (like ma’aser sheni). While in principle, neta revay fruit is exempt from terumot and ma’aserot, the separation procedure should be done in any case (due to doubt), during which the fruit is redeemed on a coin.
3. In the case on buying a mature tree from a nursery, there are cases when the years in the nursery can be included in the orlah count, but with several provisos:
4. The tree’s planter is perforated with a hole of at least 2.5 cm diameter at the bottom of the planter/bag.
5. During the entire time that the tree was in the nursery, the planter/bag was placed directly on the soil, and not on a surface that separates the soil from the planter (like a plastic sheet)
6. The clod of soil surrounding the tree did not fall off when transferred.
Only if you are absolutely certain that all the above conditions were fully met, can you include years in the nursery in the orlah count. If not, orlah years should be calculated from the time the tree is replanted in the garden.