Malta is, unfortunately, lacking in trees and greenery. In recent years, however, we have seen many people, normally voluntarily, who started several initiatives to plant trees again across the Maltese islands.
Gardening enthusiasts in Malta can also join the new tree movement taking the country by storm. Many voluntary organisations, such as International Tree Foundation, Saġġar, The ‘GROW 10 TREES’ Project, ACT – Malta and Għaqda Siġar Maltin are leading the tree-planting movement in Malta.
These NGOs are essentially conducting a process of afforestation within the Maltese Archipelago and teaching the public about how to grow and care for trees.
A mistake that gardening enthusiasts in Malta used to do, maybe more in the past, is to plant non-indigenous trees because of their aesthetic value, maybe because they are associated with foreign countries. Nonetheless, there is today greater knowledge and a strong mentality about the importance of local, indigenous, native trees.
Many Maltese trees are incredibly beautiful, and they have the advantage of growing easily in the Maltese climate and weather.
In general, Maltese homes do not have a front garden, at least not a large one, so the choice of trees needs to be limited to those that do not grow very large.
Trees such as an Araucaria (Monkey puzzles or Aurekarja in Maltese) and the Ficus tree (Weeping fig or Fikus in Maltese) should be avoided. These can grow very large and high, and their strong, large roots can damage the home’s foundations, including wells.
Let’s not forget that trees in their first four years of growth need special attention along with regular and frequent watering, especially in the hot, Maltese summer.
Avoid planting trees next to floor tiles or similar, as when trees grow, their roots can break or lift the tiles out of place. For this reason, keep the right distance in mind.
Trees that lose or shed their leaves in winter can be a good option as they are affected less by the strong wind that Malta experiences in winter.
If pruning these trees, winter is the right time, when the trees are without leaves and before they start sprouting new buds. This is also a good time for propagation.
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