I was thinking about this question, this news, and the general fact that plants can live for a very, very long time.

What are the oldest known cultivated plants in Israel? Are there, say, olive or date trees that we can point to and say "(Biblical or Talmudic or post-Talmudic personality) used these "?

(Of course, the Romans trashing everything doesn't make this easy.)

If it's the best we can do, I'll settle for even a few hundred years ago.


From personal correspondence with Dr. Jon Greenberg:

First olives--Some trees are known to be 1500 years old, and 2000 years is not unheard of: See this essay:
http://www.torahflora.org/2008/08/may-your-children-be-like-olive-trees/#more-56 However, if you include significant uncultivated trees, there is a grove of acacia trees along the northern part of the Israel-Jordan border that was already believed in Talmudic times to be the one from which Yaakov Avinu took saplings to Egypt that would be needed in the future to build the mishkan. See my essay on this at:


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This probably doesn't count, but Israeli botanists recently grew a date palm from 2,000 year-old seeds found at Masada. (link)

There are various legends surrounding certain trees, but I don't know of any that are confirmed.

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