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Pruning ficus trees to avoid a mess

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We have large ficus trees in our yard and we want to prune them since they make a huge mess. Can we prune them during the shemitah year?


Rabbi David Eigner

It is permissible during the shemitah year to prune trees, provided that the pruning is not performed in order to encourage plant growth, but rather to prevent damage.

For this reason, it is permissible to prune your ficus trees to avoid having a big mess in your yard. However, pruning should be performed in a way that it is clearly not done to encourage growth—such as pruning that in manner not optimal for the tree, pruning from one side only, etc.