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Uprooting a tree and replanting it during the shemitah year

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During the shemitah year, if a need arises to transfer a tree from place to place to save it (for instance, due to soil contamination in the area the tree was planted, or because of construction work that can damage the tree, etc.)? Would it be possible to uproot the tree from its place and replant it elsewhere – would this be considered permissible tree maintenance, ukmei liana


Rabbi Avraham Socholovsky

It is permissible to uproot a tree with its clod of earth (providing that it is permitted to uproot the tree to prevent unnecessary waste, bal tashchit) and to plant it in an unperforated planter until the end of the shemitah year. After the shemitah year it will be permissible to replant it in the ground.

However, it is forbidden to uproot and replant the tree in the ground during the shemitah year.