No less than four geographical regions and four different climatic zones are located in a tiny country with a length of only about 600 km. How many trees grow in Israel and what main varieties grow here? What is the most planted and common tree in Israel? Fascinating facts about the nature of the Land of Israel that you probably did not know.
Rarely, such a wide variety of climates, types of vegetation and different soils, all shrink in a small country about 600 km long, all of which make the country a small, rich and unique home. About 2,780 types of plants grow throughout the country, more than 200 million trees and 280 forests.
The landscape here ranges from snow-covered mountains, dry deserts, fertile fields, lush green groves and long stretches of sand dunes.
The types of vegetation and flowers vary according to the different geographical areas. From the green north to the largest forest in the country located precisely in the Negev Desert. to the unique vegetation that grows in the middle of the arid desert.
Leading the world in the number of plantings carried out within the last century
The State of Israel is one of the few countries in the world that has more trees today than in the past century. In 1901, the year the JNF was established, Israel had only 1,400 dunams of forests. In 1942, the country already had about 8,750 hectares of planted forests.
Did you know? Israel is the second leading loquat producer after Japan.
The amount of trees Israel plants every year
KKL-JNF plants almost 3 million trees every year. These statistics do not include trees planted by regional councils, municipalities and individuals.
How many trees were planted in Israel in total?
Today there are more than 200 million trees and 280 forests in Israel, and they continue to develop and expand. All these cover about 300,000 dunams and provide us with a wide range of opportunities for outdoor recreation and appreciation.
"The largest forest in Israel: Yatir Forest, located in the south of the country in the Negev desert, in the arid desert climate"
Among the trees and local vegetation you can find a large number of pine, potash, caroband eucalyptus forests. Wildflowers and herbs also grow in abundance, especially chamomile, rosemary, hyssop, morning glory, sage, passionflower and more.
The fruit trees bloom from January to April. In the south, there are acacia trees and thorny cactus cactus, which suck in the low moisture in the dry desert.
The tallest tree in the country
A little south of Tel Aviv in Holon there is a Bengal ficus tree with history. Known as the tallest tree in Israel, the Banyan reaches 15 meters in height with a trunk 6.5 meters in diameter. The tree was plagued by a sign showing that it was planted in 1888. Some say that the founder of Mikveh Israel Agricultural School, Karl Netter, planted the tree. While others claim that these are the school's pioneering gardeners.
The oldest tree in Israel
Jujube tree, the oldest of its kind in Israel. As confirmed by Avishai Schmida, professor of botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, it is the oldest tree in Israel and is estimated to be 1,500-2,000 years old.
The trunk is 4.5 m wide, 15 m high, and covers a diameter of 15 m. The tree is located near an ancient site and for more than a thousand years was fed by the Ein Hatseva spring, but modern agricultural development in the area has dried up its source of food.
Groups of plants in Israel
Botanists today divide the country's vegetation into seven different groups:
- Irano-Turani, also found in the Asian steppes of the Syrian desert, Iran, Anatolia and the Gobi Desert
- Sahara-Arabic, also found in the Sahara, Sinai and Arabian Desert
- Sudno-Zambesi, typical of the subtropical savannas of Africa
- Plants growing in more than one of these areas
- Species from America, Australia and South Africa that began to grow in Israel without human assistance
The most planted tree in Israel
A two-hour drive from Tel Aviv, on the southern slopes of the Hebron Hills, Yatir Forest is the largest planted grove in the country, with 4 million trees spread over 7,400 dunams. Dense areas of pine trees encircle the hillside, with a vivid contrast to the color of the dunes of the Negev desert.
How much of Israel's territory is forested?
According to the UN FAO, 7.1% or about 154,000 hectares of Israel are forested, according to the FAO. Israel had 88,000 dunams of planted forest.
How much land does the desert occupy in Israel?
The desert occupies more than 60 percent of the country's surface. The Negev, the largest desert in Israel, lies in the southern part of the country.
Why did they plant a lot of eucalyptus trees in Israel?
Eucalyptus trees are one of the most recognizable sights in the Israeli landscape. This tree was originally brought to Israel from Australia to help dry swamps, which were breeding grounds for malaria-spreading mosquitoes. However, their contribution to the JNF landscape and forests is much more extensive.
What main fruit trees grow in Israel?
In Israel, more than forty types of fruit are grown. In addition to citruses, these include avocados, bananas, apples, olives, cherries, figs, plums, nectarines, grapes, dates, strawberries, thorny pear (cactus), persimmon, loquat and pomegranates.
The most common tree varieties
- The most common species found include Jerusalem pine (Pinus halepensis)
- Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
- Olive Tree (Olea europaea)
- and red river gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis).
The most common tree in Israel – which is also the national symbol
Out of the more than 250 million trees throughout Israel planted by the JNF over the past 120 years, there is one tree that is particularly local and ancient, which is an inseparable part of the Israeli landscape. This is the olive tree. Mentioned from the biblical period.
The main agricultural crops in Israel
Common field crops grown in Israel include:
- Israel's wheat crops are insufficient for local consumption for human consumption, due to the country's small size and the lack of available land for growing enough wheat.
- Some of the wheat produced is considered to be of low quality.
Sorghum is a genus in the cerealfamily whose variety and varieties are used for human and animal consumption. The seeds of this variety are the fifth most important grain in the world afterwheat,rice,cornandbarley.
Corn in Israel grows on about 215,000 dunams of land, of which 156,000 dunams are winter crops.
Different types of vegetation
- Maquis (areas containing trees and shrubs of small height) and forests: located in the Judean Hills, Carmel and Galilee, in the past these were the main groves.
- Oak groves: On the volcanic rock of the Golan Heights grows a straw dominated by the oak found in areas higher than 500 meters above sea level. Botanists believe that forest ranges here have shrunk significantly over the past century.
- Winter deciduous (montanical) forests: On Mount Hermon, between 1,300 and 1,800 meters above sea level, winter deciduous trees and shrubs bloom that can withstand the cold and wind.
- Quercus ithaburensis groves: This Mediterranean tree grows in Israel's drier and warmer coastal regions, although much of these forests have been converted into olive groves.
Leaders in agricultural and irrigation technologies
Israel is known worldwide as one of the most advanced countries in the field of agricultural technology. It assists many countries, in the region, including Africa (within the framework of economic and technological relations), to leverage projects and share information on all matters related to crops, agriculture, irrigation methods and unique crops, including with sustainable green technology.