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The Pri Etz Hadar, as incorporated in the Chemdas Yamim, tells us of the idea of making a Tu B'Shvat Seder. It seems that most people (such as here, here and here) assume the Seder is meant to take place at night. I conjecture that they take the parallel to the Pesach Seder as an indication of the time of day. However, the Chemdas Yamim does not say clearly when the Seder is indeed meant to occur. In fact, in a number of places (such as here in the first paragraph) he uses the term בעצם היום הזה, which I would take to mean that the Seder should be had at noontime or at least during the day, as that phrase usually means.

Does anyone know of a clear source text that states when the Seder should take place?

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13200. – Fred Jan 5 '16 at 3:03
  • The Sefer Mo'ed L'Kol Chai, in section 30:7 (hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=33683&st=&pgnum=521), says: ליל ט״ו בשבט ר״ה לאילנות ונהגו רוב תפוצות ישראל לסדר בשלחן מכל פירות. Further, he writes in 30:8: "There are those who teach their young students all 15 Songs [of ascension, the Shir HaMaalos] in order that they'll be able to teach it at their father's table on the night of Tu B'Shvat"... So he definitely holds that whatever a person does for his Tu B'Shvat Seder, it should be at night. However, I don't know if this qualifies as an answer. – Chaim Jan 8 '16 at 2:24
  • I once went to a friend's Tu Bishvat Seder-- and it was during the day. – ephraim helfgot Jan 12 '16 at 2:51
  • I once made a Tu b'Shvat Seder-- and it was during the night. – Chaim Jan 12 '16 at 2:55
  • LOL! Another case of inventing a new custom, and then others asking for Halachot and other minutia about the invention. – Danny Schoemann Jan 14 '16 at 10:20
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Well there's this Rabbi Adir HaKohen who brings a small siman (from Rosh HaShanah daf 14b) for why the focus is the evening.

In addition, here's a collection of halachos for Tu BiShvat, where the rabbi brings one source for day (Even Yisrael) and two for night (Yafe LaLev and Moed Lekol Chai). Do not know these sources well enough, sorry :)

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