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Article Teaser: The rise and fall of ancient empires has developed parallel also to the establishment and destruction of advanced fruit tree orchards. Ancient fruit trees such as olive tree orchards increased the wealth and health of nations by feeding the populations, providing nutritious olive oil to light lamps in ancient houses at night, as food and a cooking medium, and for the purpose of anointing Kings and Queens.

Keep reading below...

Modern Fruit Trees Evolved From Ancient Historical Roots

Copyright (c) 2006-2017

The rise and fall of ancient empires has developed parallel also to the establishment and destruction of advanced fruit tree orchards. Ancient fruit trees such as olive tree orchards increased the wealth and health of nations by feeding the populations, providing nutritious olive oil to light lamps in ancient houses at night, as food and a cooking medium, and for the purpose of anointing Kings and Queens. Olive trees could not produce continuous crops unless the gardeners growing them could provide a secure, peaceful growing environment. The original plantings of olive trees were slow growing and could not produce a satisfactory crop of fruit, until the trees matured to bear crops in 10 to 15 years. It was well known by ancient warrior conquerors and Kings, that hostile nations could be neutralized for many years, if the fruit orchards were destroyed. The ancient Greek soldiers either confiscated the enemy orchards for their own future use, or they destroyed the trees, if they planned to move on to prevent the defeated nations from rebuilding agriculturally and to later return as a threat in the future. The Romans fought the citizens of Carthage in North Africa, defeating them many times, only to experience a resurgence of Carthage attacks and invasions. Finally the Romans destroyed every building in the city of Carthage, leaving no stone atop another and spread salt to poison the agricultural land to prevent any possible rebuilding, since food could not be produced on salt contaminated land.

Two centuries later, Israel destroyed 50,000 olive trees in Palestine, also located in North Africa like the city of Carthage, to prevent the Palestinian nation from enjoying the fruit and wealth of the olive orchards.

The Hebrew Bible, in the book of Genesis, records that the first fruits eaten by Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden; however, they were forbidden to eat the fruit from the tree in the center of the garden, that was growing on the tree of knowledge about good and evil, but they ate the fruit anyway. Many Bible translators suspect that this fruit was the apple, but other botanists say that the fruit of the apple was not known then-that the quince was the most likely forbidden fruit, the most ancient relative of the apple. After eating this controversial fruit, Adam and Eve were expelled from their paradise on Earth, and after realizing their nakedness, they covered their bodies with leaves from the fig tree. King Solomon of Israel spoke poetically and in songs about his gardens growing lushly with fruits of the Earth. Figs and fig trees are often mentioned in Hebrew Scriptures, most profoundly when Jesus cursed a barren fig tree that instantly became dead, when it didn't provide figs to eat as he passed by.

Ezekiel 47-12: "All kinds of fruit trees will grow along the river banks, the leaves will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit. There will be a new crop every month- without fail! For they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for medicine."

Olive oil was used to anoint the Kings of Israel. Olive trees are often mentioned in the Scriptures-the most memorable story, the Mount Olive trees, underneath which Jesus prayed before his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane that led to his conviction by the Governor Pilate, and the resulting infamous crucifixion by the Romans. Pomegranates were well known and revered by the Israelites who carved images of the pomegranate fruit, that were used to decorate pillars at the Temple in Jerusalem. Perhaps the most famous fruit of the Bible was the grape that grew in vineyards and was highly prized to eat fresh, to dry as raisins and to ferment into wine and further into vinegar. Numerous references are made in the Bible to grapes, the products of grapes and the wealth provided them from the grape vineyards to the property owners. Many tropical fruit trees such as citrus trees, jujube trees, banana trees, and loquat trees probably originated from Oriental origins such as China and India. It is also probable that the stone-fruits, such as peach trees, cherry trees, apricot trees, nectarine trees (smooth skin peach), and plum trees containing a large seed in the center, originated in the Orient. Many botanists speculate that the fruits of mulberry trees, fig trees, pomegranate trees, and crabapples may have originated in the mid-East territories.

There is little doubt that Oriental persimmons originated in China and was spread to the Japanese mainland.

Several fruits are native to America and after the discovery of mayhaw trees, red mulberry trees, guava trees, pawpaw trees, Chickasaw plum trees, and Ogeechee lime trees, considerable efforts have been made to improve these fruits by the selection of superior cultivars and grafting them onto various cold hardy rootstocks.

To those interested in the natural history of fruit trees, it is clear that many fruits exist today, because those ancient gardeners selected the seed of favorable fruits and planted the seed gradually resulting in fruit improvements. Some of these fruit trees could be increased by vegetative rooting of twigs and branches or by increasing multiple trunked plants by division and replanting them in gardens for cultivation. Some fruit trees could not be increased by rooting or division and the planting of the seed gave unpredictable results. Some delicious sweet peaches with large juicy fruits might produce seed that when planted, the trees would produce a wide assortment of flavors, shapes, and sizes; some bitter or sour, some irregularly shaped, some large or small. This unpredictable outcome of planting seed of superior fruit trees was finally overcome by the art of grafting, which was well known and practiced as evidenced by the ancient Romans' historical accounts.

By examining the historical record of fruit trees in the Hebrew Bible, we discover that fruit trees fed the first earthly man and woman in a fruitful garden of paradise at the site and birthplace of civilization-the Tigris and Euphrates Valleys near the modern nation of Iraq. For an extended period of history, man was expelled from his earthly paradise, but today a gardener can buy his own wish list of fruit trees, and experience his own man-made heaven beneath the ageless, ancient, delightful sky.


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Written by: Patrick Malcolm. Learn more about various trees by visiting the author's website: http://www.tytyga.com

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