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Reforestation of the Sharon with Quercus ithaburensis

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Ezra Barnea

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 145–152


In the past, the Sharon (Israel) was partially covered with Quercus ithaburensis (Mount Tabor oak) forest (Eig 1933). At three different times, most of this forest was cut down and much of it has practically disappeared. The common explanation is that this forest was destroyed during the Ottoman period. By the 1920s the region was left practically bare with no trees. Today, most of the region has no Q. ithaburensis except for in the Karkur Forest and rare relics of trees scattered in limited locations. Some of these remaining trees are threatened by urbanization and farming, while other forms of anthropic pressure coupled with low natural reproduction represent additional negative impacts.


Israel Oak Registry, reforestation, Quercus ithaburensis, Mount Tabor oak


Avishai, M. 2016. Vallonea or Aegilops Oaks, a Short Review. www.internationaloaksociety.org/content/vallonea-or-aegilops-oaks-short-....

Boneh, A., and R. Harel. 2015. The Sharon Mount Tabor Oak Forest is Alive and Kicking. Yaar 15: 64-71. (Hebrew)

Conder, C.R., and E.H.H. Kitchener. 1881-83. The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. Edited by E.H. Palmer and W. Besant. 3 vols. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 

Eig, A. 1933. A historical-phytosociological essay on Palestinian forests of Quercus aegilops L. ssp. ithaburensis (Desc.) in past and present. Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 51(Abt. II): 225-272.

Karschon, R. 1982. In defense of the Turks. A study of the destruction of Tabor Oak Forest in the southern plain of Sharon. La-Yaaran 32: 54-59.

Marom, R. 2018. The Contribution of Conder's Tent Work in Palestine for Understanding of Shifting Geographical, Social and Legal Realities in the Sharon During the Late Ottoman Period. In Exploring the Holy Land - 150 Years of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Edited by D. Gurevich and A. Kidron. Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing. 

Tal, A. 2013. All the Trees of the Forest; Israel’s Woodlands from the Bible to the Present. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Weitz, J. 1970. Forest and Afforestation in Israel. Ramat Gan, Israel: Massada. (Hebrew)

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