The Resurrection of the Judean Date Palm Tree

Early in October, something extraordinary happened, something that reinforces our belief in the inherent beauty of all things. It was reported that a tree long thought extinct is growing, from seeds found in a musky old jar by archaeologists no less. It is truly a tale of worthy of an Indiana Jones flick. 1960s, a group of archaeologists excavating the purported site of Herod the Great’s palace in Israel and stumbling across a stockpile of seeds tucked away in a clay jar. Very innocuous, wouldn’t you say?

While there were no baddies chasing after these archaeologists (that we know of), their adventure is certainly exciting. Herod’s palace and the entire area for that matter is loaded with history and excavating any of the sites is equivalent to hopping into a time machine and visiting a living, breathing time period, where really there is no past, only the pulsations of an ever living present. Ultimately, everything has a pulse, even something that is centuries old, which brings us, of course, to the seeds.

The seeds were around 2,000 years-old, if not older. They were kept in a drawer at Tel Aviv’s Bar-Ilan University where they were forgotten about. Then one day, a curious botanical researcher planted one to see what would happen. The researcher, Elaine Solowey, said, “I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all the time. How could it be?” as quoted in this article courtesy of To her surprise, the seeds did sprout, even producing a sapling. A Judean date palm tree, a tree once extinct has been given new life. To this day, it is the oldest known tree seed to germinate.

The Judean date palm tree is still going strong, leading many scientists to believe that other extinct trees can be brought back to life. This is a very exciting time to be a tree lover and at Cold Stream Farm, we are thrilled that more people are becoming aware with the miracle-producing qualities of trees!