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Orlah tree almost uprooted

Rabbi Ari ShvatSivan 9, 5776
180
Question
Shalom Kavod HaRav. I asked the two previous questions regarding fruit trees - and now another one has come up. We have got an apple tree in its fourth year, with fruits on it which are almost ripe. During its second year, a winter storm with snow almost uprooted it - it was still partially connected to the ground with a few roots but hanging slanted at a 45 degrees angle. I put it upright again and added earth around the roots to keep it in place. In the months after that the tree looked very ill and it took it a long time to sprout new leaves (but if I remember right, it did get new leaves during the same year). Does that event affect the orlah count? Or can I rely on the original count and therefore regard it as neta revai? Thank you for your consideration.
Answer
The answer is defined by a simple formula: if the tree was continuously in touch with the ground in a way that it could have continued living that way (even if weak and unable to grow fruit), than its “original planting” isn’t annulled and you can continue counting (if not, you must restart the counting). I obviously cannot decide such a question without having seen it after the storm, but can only add that if you are in doubt, in Eretz Yisrael, one must hold like the stricter option, for here it’s a safek d’oraita (Torah-level suspicion).
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