Is one permitted to cut down a tree?
Although the Torah doesn’t allow cutting fruit trees the gmara (:ב’ק צ”א) adds and says that Shivchat died because he cut a fruit tree. From here Chazal learn that its also dangerous to cut such a tree.
On top of that also R’ Yehudah hachassid wrote not to cut a fruit tree, some poskim learn that his warning is not to cut even in a place that its allowed.
There is a disagreement amongst the poskim if one is allowed to cut in the following scenarios:
A. If it causes damage to other trees or the property. (Rosh, Bet Yaakov)
B. If its dangerous to cut although the halacha would permit it. (Shilat Yaavets, Binyan Tsion )
C. If we can allow a goi to cut it for us. (R’ Shlomo Kluger, Imrei Noam )
D. Can you uproot it and replant it somewhere else (Shilat Yaavets, Chatam Sofer).
🌳 Many explanations were given to this.
Some say the reason is since cutting it causes people to wonder about the person and it brings in serious ayin ara.(Rashi)
Some say because he violates a prohibition of bal tashchit. (Maharsha).
Some say that there are gilgulim, neshamot in those trees and cutting it causes them to suffer (in the Ari approach).
🌳 Some poskim say that even the posek who allowed cutting it puts himself at danger and therefore he should join with other two rabbis to permit it in order to protect himself.
🌳 Lemaase if one needs to cut such a tree he should consult with a rabbi before hand.