About the Olive Wood Tree
The Olive Tree is a subtropical, broad-leaved, evergreen tree, which has edible fruit. The tree ranges in height from 3 to 8 meters or more, and has numerous branches. Its leaves, leathery and lance-shaped are dark green and are paired opposite each other on the twig. In October, the trees are pruned and the wood is sold to us and other craftsmen who create priceless pieces of art.There in no olive wood tree is damaged or destroyed in the process of harvesting the wood.
Bethlehem Olive Wood, Holy Land Wood or Olive Wood Trees is native to the Mediterranean region, tropical and central Asia and various parts of Africa. The olive trees especially in the Holy Land require a long, hot growing season to properly ripen the fruit, no late spring frosts to kill the blossoms and sufficient winter chill to insure fruit set
Olive Wood- An Ancient Art Form During the time of the Crusades, an ancient art form emerged, which came to be known as the Olive Wood Industry. Artists, who came from Europe, settled in Bethlehem and started this unique industry. Ever since, Olive Wood carving was taught from generation to generation until it was perfected and mastered. Although this industry depends on simple hand tools, it is maintained as such to preserve the Biblical heritage and the religious significance of the Olive Tree to the Christian community…”Down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2: New International Version)
The Olive Tree has both a sentimental and religious significance. According to the Bible, it is believed that Jesus prayed underneath an Olive Tree in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper. This sacred tree is still in existence today. The Bible repeatedly refers to the Olive Tree as a symbol of peace, fertility, and prosperity. In the story of Noah’s Ark, a branch from an Olive Tree was brought back to the Ark by Noah’s Dove symbolizing peace. Also, on Palm Sunday, pilgrims carry Olive Wood branches commemorating the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. Thus, the Olive Tree became a dominant symbol of the Holy Land.