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I have recently planted a grape vine. The nursery insists that it is at least 1 year old (and the size of the plant suggests no less than 2 years old). It was planted with it's roots entirely covered in soil, can I count it as being 1 year old, even if the "witnesses" at the nursery are not shomer shabbat?

Also, before the 3rd year, can I use the leaves of the grape vine? (as opposed to the fruit)

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Welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for the interesting questions! –  Isaac Moses May 23 '11 at 12:35
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As this is for you a practical question, I strongly suggest you CYLOR rather than rely on what's answered here. –  msh210 May 23 '11 at 14:47

3 Answers 3

The leaves are mutar (Orlah 1:7) (V'araltem orlaso es piryo)

A plant that is replanted (shesil) starts the clock again (Orlah 1:3...). However Orlah it is not 3 full years. As long as the palnt had 2 weeks to root and was rooted for 30 days before Rosh Hashana (so before 17 Av), that counts as a year. On the other hand, fruits that started blossoming in the 4th year prior to Tu biShvat are considered Orlah. (SA OC 294:4). Of course then you have Revaei issues- see 294:7.

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If it was transplanted with enough dirt around the roots to survive on its own, then the clock doesn't reset (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 294:19). –  Alex May 23 '11 at 15:40
    
The question becomes- survive for how long. In Eretz Yisrael, we're machmir for the entire 3 years of Orlah. I'm not an expert, but wouldn't the vine have a hard time surviving long term within the nursery's soil? –  YDK May 23 '11 at 19:56
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True, I see that Pischei Teshuvah there brings opinions on both sides of the question as to just how long it has to be able to survive. (He says that indeed there may be a difference in this regard between Eretz Yisrael, where doubtful orlah is prohibited, and chutz la'aretz where it's permitted.) –  Alex May 23 '11 at 20:45
    
@Alex: now a separate question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/14193. –  msh210 Feb 12 '12 at 19:10

(Bruchos 36a) only the primary-fruit are prohibited, but this is only outside Israel. In Israel, the secondary-fruit is prohibited.

Plants with more than one edible "fruit" (fruit, berries, flowers, shells, leaves, stalks and wood) only have one primary-fruit. That primary-fruit is usually the reason we cultivate the plant, and would be ha'aitz, any secondary-fruits are ha'adamah. Outside Israel, only the primary fruit is prohibited in the first 3 years, and any secondary fruit, like leaves are permitted to eat outside Israel.

Also, (36b), outside Israel, it is even permitted to eat any primary-fruits which are questionable if they are under 3 years. They're only prohibited outside Israel if you know for a fact it is under 3 years - you know when it was planted and picked.

edit: Also, peels and shells that protect the primary-fruit (without the shell it'll die) are prohibited along with the primary-fruit.

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I do not know about the first part, but for the second, orla/neta revii applies to the fruit, not to the plant as a whole.

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