Question:

A tree that grows on it blackberries is it considered a fruit tree and is not permitted to be cut how about trimming the tree

Answer:

A tree that grows blackberries is considered a tree, in fact the bracha on blackberries is haetz. Regarding trimming the tree, it depends on the reason that it is being done.

  1. If the branches are being rimmed for the benefit of the tree, such as when pruning the tree that is permitted according to all opinions. This is because it isn’t considered ruining the tree, but helping the tree grow.
  2. If it isn’t for the benefit of the tree, it is controversial, according to some authorities it is forbidden, however most authorities agree that if the branches are being cut for a mitzvah need, or even for a different need, that it is permitted.
  3. However to cut them for no reason at all is not permitted.
  4. Additionally if the tree is going to die because of the branches that were cut from it, then it considered like cutting down the whole tree, and would only be permitted under the conditions that permit cutting down the whole tree.

 

Sources:

 

  1. Sharei Tehuva Y:D 116-51 Para. V’ayin Shut Bais Yackov, Eitz Hasadeh 11-5.
  2. See Eitz Hasadeh 11 ftnt 2-5 where he elaborates on the various opinions regarding this. He does bring (ibid ftnt. 7) that the poskim rule ( Be’er Moshe 5-136, M’bais Halevi 3 pg. 59(7), Chut Shani Shmitta V’yovel pg. 288 (5), Sefer Mayim chaim quoting R’ Eliyashiv zt”l and YBCHL”CH R’ C. Kanievsky) that if there is a need that it is permitted. Also se Teshuvos V’hanhagos 5-392 that those who prohibit cutting the branches only rule stringently if the whole branch was cut, but not if part of it was left. (Also see Ma’adane Shlomo pg. 245, that R S. Z, Auerbach zt”l held that the prohibition only applies to a whole tree and not to branches)
  3. Shut Chaim Soal, Chazon Ish Orlah 1-1, Chut Shani 9 Shmitta Vyovel pg. 289, Eitz Hasadeh 11-4.
  4. Shut Be’er Chaim Mordechai 2-17, Shut Yad Halevi 1 Y:D 46, Eitz Hasadeh 11-3.

Tags: baal tashchis

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