Shop עברית

Pruning trees with shemitah fruit

Subscribe to our Newsletter


I'm a gardener and I have a client whose apricot tree is a mess. It is terribly overgrown and the fruit is also infested. The fruit is starting to yellow, but it's not really ripe yet. Is there something I can do?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

From the time of the begging of a fruit's development during shemitah until it reaches a third of its ripeness, it is forbidden to prune fruit trees. This is because it directly destroys the developing fruit.

From the time fruit reaches a third of its ripeness (שליש), and can be eaten in extenuating circumstances, it is possible to prune fruit tree prune the tree for the following: Asthetics, to save the tree from harm, to remove branches from blocking access and to prevent hazards.  Of course, fruit trees cannot be pruned to encourage growth.


The picture you sent shows apricots that have already reached this stage.

For this reason, pruning is permitted: prune imprecisely, leaving protusions of at least 20 cm.