Cutting shoots from the base of trees
Subscribe to our Newsletter
There are suckers that often sprout at the base of tree trunks, especially common with olive and pomegranate trees. They ruin the trees' aesthetics. Can I remove them during shemitah? What about citrus trees? Does it make a difference if the growths are from below the graft line?
❌ Removing such shoots (also called suckers) during shemitah is problematic. Suckers should not be removed lechatchilah.
If there is a pressing need, remove them with a shinuy (in a way different than usual):
📏 Do not clip them too close to the trunk; leave several dozen cm of the growth.
⚒️ Change the instrument to clip off the sucker – such as with a hoe instead of pruning shears.
It is best to do both, but if difficult, one type of shinuy is sufficient.
☠️ If it is possible to poison these shoots, that is best. If not feasible proceed as above.
😱 Do not uproot the sucker, unless it will strangle the tree or cause significant damage. This is generally not the case unless it is a tender sapling or growing in a planter.
The above applies to any type of tree, regardless of whether or not the growth is above or below the graft line.