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Sapling ready for Jewish Tu B’Shvat tree festival planting in Canary Wharf roof garden

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 January 2019

Planting a sapling to mark Jewish 'Festival of Trees'. Picture: Sean Pollock

Planting a sapling to mark Jewish 'Festival of Trees'. Picture: Sean Pollock

Sean Pollock Photographer

A religious ‘festival of the tree’ is being celebrated in Canary Wharf by planting a sapling in the lush Crossrail Place roof garden.

Community marking last year's Tu B'Shvat festival at Canary Wharf's roof garden. Sean PollockCommunity marking last year's Tu B'Shvat festival at Canary Wharf's roof garden. Sean Pollock

The planting on Monday is part of the annual Jewish Tu B’Shvat when the community marks the point when fruit from the tree can be eaten.

The name means ‘New Year of Trees’ which occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, marking the emergence of spring in the Holy Land, a tradition continuing to this day in the Jewish community.

“It’s is a time to celebrate new beginnings,” Canary Wharf Group’s Danny Seliger said. “The planting ceremony is a reminder of the tree all year round. Our roof garden is open to the public so anyone can view the trees grow over the coming years.”

Monday’s planting which is fast becoming an annual Canary Wharf tradition is followed by a community lunch at Clifford Chance lawfirm offices. Fruit packages are also being delivered by schoolchildren to East End day centres and old age homes to encourage connection between the generations.

Tu B’Shvat was used in Biblical times to work out the time of year for picking fruit, the cut-off date in the Hebrew calendar for calculating the age of a tree, which is still observed today in Jewish law. Fruit that ripens on a three-year-old tree before that date is forbidden, while fruit ripening after is permitted.

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