Spraying pesticides and pruning for shape maintenance during shemitah
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- Is it permissible to spray trees with pesticides in areas where pests are generally attracted to?
- Today olive trees are often shaped into balls in home gardens. Following the opinion that pruning fruit trees is a Torah prohibition, is it permissible to prune them during shemitah in order to preserve their shape?
Rabbi Avraham Socholovsky, Torah VeHa'aretz Institute
- It is permissible to spray trees to prevent damage to the trees.
- It is permissible to prune when it is obvious that it is not for the purpose of encouraging growth. If trees were shaped in a certain way before the shemitah year and you are pruning in order to preserve that shape, and not to encourage growth (such as filling in bald spots), it is permissible.