California Date Growers to Cultivate The Judean Date Palm: Methuselah, Grown from Israel Dates from 2000-Year-Old Seeds

January 10, 2024 ( PR Submission Site )

The California Date Growers Association is excited to announce a groundbreaking initiative to commercialize the cultivation of Judean Date Palms, specifically the Methuselah Tree, in the fertile grounds of the Coachella Valley. Originating from seeds dating back nearly 2000 years, the resurrection of this ancient and extinct palm species marks a significant milestone in agricultural history.

The extraordinary journey of the Judean Date Palm began in 1963 when archaeologists unearthed an ancient jar containing well-preserved date palm seeds during the excavation of Herod the Great’s palace in Masada, Israel. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the seeds to be between 155 BC to 64 AD, originating from the extinct Judean Date Palm.

The unique environmental conditions near the Dead Sea, including low precipitation, humidity, and the thickest atmosphere on Earth, are believed to have contributed to the remarkable preservation of these seeds over the millennia.

Connection To The Ancient Past

In 2005, a team led by Sarah Sallon successfully sprouted some of these ancient seeds. Leading to the birth of the Methuselah Tree, currently thriving in the Arava Institute research park on Kibbutz Ketura, Israel. Named after the biblical patriarch Methuselah, this male Judean Date Palm has become a symbol of resilience and longevity. Producing a harvest of hundreds of dates that were once thought to be extinct.

“The Methuselah Tree represents not only a triumph of scientific achievement but also a connection to the ancient past.” Says John Gonzales, representative of the California Date Growers Association. “We are thrilled to embark on this journey to cultivate the Judean Date Palm in the Coachella Valley. Bringing a piece of history back to life and showcasing the resilience of this extraordinary species.”

About California Date Growers Association

The California Date Growers Association is a leading organization dedicated to advancing the cultivation and promotion of dates in the state of California. With a rich history in date farming. The association is committed to sustainable practices, innovation, and the preservation of unique date palm varieties.


Sako Hayakawa,

PhD California Date Growers Association

Phone Number: ‪(619) 932-1956‬

SOURCE: California Date Growers Association


The California Date Growers Association aims to contribute to the global revival of the Judean Date Palm by applying innovative agricultural practices developed over decades of experience in date cultivation. This initiative aligns with the Association's commitment to sustainable farming and the preservation of unique and endangered plant species.

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