Testing Trees from around the World

KKL-JNF's 50 acre Gilat tree nursery in the south is a testing ground for trees from all over the world to see which species are suitable for growing in Israel. We will continue adding more weird and wonderful trees that have made 'Aliya' to Israel, so keep visiting this page!

Besides trees for forests, Gilat nursery also grows trees and shrubs for the benefit of local schools, towns and villages, and army bases. Researchers from throughout the world visit Gilat, where nursery director Pablo Cherkeskey explains how it is possible to make beautiful gardens with plants that don't demand huge amounts of water.

KKL-JNF has offices in 45 countries worldwide. In honor of our friends around the world, we have chosen to tell the stories of the many different trees that have made "aliya" from their native homes and were successfully acclimated in Israel.

Australia's Eucalyptus Trees

Scientific (Latin) name: according to species
Common name: eucalyptus
Country of origin: Australia
Aliya to Israel: over 100 years ago


Eucalyptus gomphocephala Kaduri KKL. Photo: Tania Susskind


Eucalyptus erithromena. Photo: Tania Susskind


Eucalyptus torelliana. Photo: Tania Susskind

Eucalyptus trees are one of the most familiar sights on the Israeli landscape. This tree was originally brought to Israel from Australia to help dry out swamps, which were breeding grounds for malaria-spreading mosquitoes. However, their contribution to the landscape and to KKL-JNF forests is far more extensive. There are approximately 700 species of eucalypti in the world, some of them that grow to a height of 60 meters. Eucalyptus trees are often chosen by KKL-JNF foresters because they grow rapidly, thrive in various types of soil, are very advantageous for bee keepers, produce lumber and ethereal oils, and more.

Eucalyptus gomphocephala Kaduri KKL is a very unique hybrid named for KKL-JNF, since it was propagated from cuttings of eucalyptus gomphocephala that grew into bush-like trees only 1.5 meters tall in Shuvalim Forest. Due to their breadth, they are popular in public and private gardens, and they are very economical in terms of water usage. They are also good for nursery schools, since small children can play in their shade. In fact, Australian tree growers have expressed an interest in this hybrid, so some of them might find their way back to their country of origin!

Eucalyptus erithronema can be identified by the bright red branches that hold its stamen. This is a small species of eucalyptus that is also very economical in terms of water usage, making it a popular tree in the expanses of the Negev desert. Although it doesn't give a lot of shade, it is attractive to bees and flowers all year long. Eucalyptus torelliana, on the other hand, has distinctive yellow flowers. Its bark is rough, which protects it from animals and forest fires. When cut down, it regenerates from its base.

According to Gilat Tree Nursery director Pablo Cherkeskey, KKL-JNF is interested in maintaining an arsenal of different types of eucalyptus trees that are suitable for different climatic and topographical conditions. Due to their great variety and versatility, they will continue to serve KKL-JNF forests for years to come.


Photo Gallery: Click on each thumbnail for the full image

Trees from other Countries

The Silk Floss Tree from Paraguay

The Silk Floss Tree from Paraguay

Scientific (Latin) name: Chorisa speciosa
Common name: Silk Floss tree
Countries of origin: Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil
Aliya to Israel: About 23 years ago

The Crimson King - Schotia Tree from South Africa

The Crimson King - Schotia Tree from South Africa

Scientific (Latin) name: Schotia brachypetala
Common name: Weeping boer-bean, African walnut
Country of origin: South Africa
Aliya to Israel: about 20 years ago

South Africa's Sausage Tree – Beware of falling fruits!

South Africa's Sausage Tree – Beware of falling fruits!

Scientific (Latin) name: Kigelia afriana
Common name: Sausage tree
Country of origin: South Africa
Aliya to Israel: about 20 years ago

Mexico's Arroyo Sweetwood - That Cinnamon Bun Smell

Mexico's Arroyo Sweetwood - That Cinnamon Bun Smell

Scientific (Latin) name: Myrospernum sousanum
Common name: Arroyo sweetwood
Country of origin: Mexico
Aliya to Israel: about 15 years ago

Spain's Cork Oak - The Wine Bottle Stopper Tree

Spain's Cork Oak - The Wine Bottle Stopper Tree

Scientific (Latin) name: Quercus suber
Common name: Cork oak
Country of origin: Spain
Aliya to Israel: over 20 years ago

The Ombu from Argentina - The Umbrella Tree

The Ombu from Argentina - The Umbrella Tree

Scientific (Latin) name: Phytolacca dioica
Common name: Ombu
Country of origin: Argentina
Aliya to Israel: about 22 years ago