Our Sages explain this to mean that when it is not necessary to cut down fruit trees for the war effort — it is possible to build bulwarks from non-fruit-bearing trees — it is prohibited to cut them down. In this case, the only purpose of chopping down the fruit trees would be to scare the enemy and take vengeance upon them, and therefore it is not proper. In instances, however, when cutting down fruit trees is critical to the war effort — for example, the other trees do not provide enough wood to build the necessary war machines, or the enemy is hiding in the fruit trees or subsisting on the fruit, thus prolonging the siege — it is permissible to chop them down.
Our Sages explain that the prohibition to cut down fruit trees is not restricted to a time of war. This prohibition is referred to as bal tashchit. Nevertheless, the prohibition of cutting down fruit trees is stricter than the prohibition of destroying other objects of value. This prohibition does not apply to non-fruit trees; technically they may be destroyed even if there is no gain from doing so. It is also forbidden to cut off the branches of a fruit tree, unless there is good reason to do so, e. Some say that even when it is permissible to cut down a tree, it should still be avoided, 23 but this is not the accepted opinion.
In conclusion, it should be noted that there are many differing opinions regarding these complex laws, and, as mentioned above, not complying with this prohibition can be harmful.
Publisher of Watchman Nee & Witness Lee
It is therefore advisable to consult with a competent rabbi before cutting down any fruit tree. When the Jews went to war with the Midianites Numbers 31 , they destroyed the Midianite territory and cut down the fruit trees Bamidbar Rabbah Similarly, when the Jews made war against Moab, the prophet Elisha told the Jewish kings: "And you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and you shall fell every good tree, and you shall stop up all springs of water, and you shall clutter every good field with stones" II Kings This was for a specific reason each time and not simply for the purpose of destruction.
Rashbam and Nachmanides on the verses ibid. But see Minchat Chinuch on the sixth mitzvah added by Nachmanides, that according to Maimonides Laws of Kings -9 , even this is forbidden.
See Maimonides, ibid. See Talmud, Taanit 7a. This is derived from the wording of the verse, "Is the tree of the field a man?
Bearing Remaining Fruit, Vol. 1 - Amana Literature
Considering that in certain cases chopping down trees — even non-fruit-bearing ones — can be harmful to the environment, it can be argued that doing so would also fall under the umbrella prohibition against being wantonly wasteful. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in Yabi'a Omer vol. Cutting tree before purchase This is an interesting question. Generally, one may not ask a non-Jew to do something that one may not do themselves. So to explicitly ask would be forbidden.
It would seem, however, that one would be allowed to hint and say something like "It would be helpful if that tree could be uprooted so that I could build there. Cutting Tree before sale Can a non-Jewish home owner cut down a fruit bearing tree in order to facilitate the sale to a Jewish buyer ie. Please Donate. Please partner with Chabad.
Collected Works of Witness Lee, The, (1987) Vol. 1 – 3
Thank you to:. Here's a great tip! Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life. No Thanks. Subscribe Subscribe.
Send to a friend
Weekly Magazine Daily Dose. Ask the Rabbi. Chabad Locator Find. Tools Directory of Tools:. Birthday Lookup. Candle Lighting Times. Chabad Locator. Date Converter. Email Lists. Event Directory. Greeting Cards. Halachic Times.
Jewish Calendar. Judaica Store. Knowledge Base. SMS Shabbat Times. Yahrtzeit Lookup. Popular Tools:. Shabbat Times.
- Vegetarian Cooking: Stir-Fried Sweet and Sour Gluten with Bean Sprouts (Vegetarian Cooking - Vegetables and Fruits Book 189).
- Tales of the Dragonfly Book I: In Tandem.
- Chlorella: Myths, Risks and Benefits (The Super Foods Guides)!
Email Subscriptions. More Sites Today is Mon. Jewish Practice. Although much of the trunk and parts of the major limbs are nonfunctioning, they do provide structural strength to the entire tree. If the trunk and parts of the major limbs are hollow, efforts to save the tree will most likely be unsuccessful. Areas of branches and the trunk that appear orangish-brown and scaly also are an indication of poor health.
A thin green line, visible when the bark is peeled back gently with a pocketknife, indicates a healthy branch and tissue. If this examination reveals serious structural and health problems, you might be better off vegetatively propagating the tree or ordering a new one of the same variety for planting. A series of Extension Learn Now videos on grafting is also available:. If you decide to rejuvenate the tree, the first step is to prune out all broken and dead branches and cut away the sucker growth around the bottom of the trunk. Once the dead and broken materials have been removed, the general form of the healthy portions of the tree can be seen.
- From High Heels to Handcuffs.
- Cutting Down Fruit Trees.
- Mangifera indica (mango);
The second step is to decide how big you want the tree to be. Realize, however, that you can never make a seedling tree into a dwarf size no matter how much you prune. A true dwarf tree can be maintained at about 6 to 10 feet tall, a semidwarf at about 10 to 16 feet and a standard at about 16 to 20 feet tall. Trees that have not been pruned in many years should not be reduced to the desired height in a single pruning. To prevent excessive growth and excessive sunburn on previously shaded portions of the tree, you should plan on reducing tree height over a period of 3 years by removing no more than one-third of the tree in one season.
If, for example, the tree is currently 23 feet tall and you want to bring it back to about 14 feet, lower the overall height by 3 feet per year. Figure 1. Neglected apple tree before pruning on the left. On the right is the same tree after pruning with mostly thinning cuts removing branches back to their point of origin. Photo: Rob Crasweller, Penn State. To reduce tree height, selectively cut to leave branches growing more horizontal to the ground. Thin out excessive branches as well. Do not indiscriminately cut all the shoots in half.
Do not "dehorn" the tree, as some people mistakenly do with large shade trees to reduce their height.
After the desired height and limb spread have been decided, look closely at the major branches to determine where they could be cut to bring the tree into conformity. It is important that no nitrogen be applied immediately after the initial heavy cutting. Nitrogen should not be applied because the root system under the tree is large enough to provide water, oxygen, and stored food reserves to all of the aboveground portions of the tree before any cutting was done.
In effect, the first year's pruning means that the same amount of root system is supplying fewer growing points.