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Poisoning and removing shoots that emerge from trees

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I have a wild type of tree from the willow family. During the year we have new shoots surfacing and must poison them and pull them out as their roots can be very aggressive. Can we do this treatment during the shemitah year?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Removing suckers during shemitah is problematic. Suckers should not be removed lechatchilah. Poisoning, as you do, is the best halachic method for removing them. After they are poisoned, you can remove them while not clipping them too close to the trunk (leaving several dozen cm of the growth). You should 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.