Olive Tree on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

This is an ancient olive tree standing in a garden surrounding a modern church on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. This hill lying east across the Kidron Valley from the Jerusalem Temple was named for the olive groves and olive presses located on its slopes. A section of the hill was known as Gethsemane, meaning "olive press," an area where the fruit of the trees would be processed into oil. The olive tree takes about 17 years to reach full production, and can live to be over 1,000 years old. There is no way to tell how old this tree is, but legend dates it to the Roman period. There were likely similar olive trees in this area in the time of Jesus.


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