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Rabbi David Sperling

Shevat 14, 5775
Are the citrus that are already ripe on the trees in Erezt Israel consider of kidush a shmita TIZKU le mitzvot
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The kedusha of the fruit of trees is determined by the time of budding – that is only fruit which budded during the seventh year will have the holiness of smitah. Because of the length of time it takes for the citrus fruits to grow, the citrus fruits that will become available at the end of the shmitah year, next Elul and later (during the eight year) will have kedusha. (The exception to this is the etrog, which according to the Rambam has kedusha if it was picked during smitah – and many people try to follow this opinion as a stricture). So, those citrus fruits on the market at the moment (Shvat 5775) do not have kedusha shvi'it on them. Blessings.
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