I read with interest George Camilleri’s piece on Trees Can’t Talk (July 11).

After almost 30 years on these islands I still find it difficult to comprehend the Maltese lack of respect for trees. Having planted thousands of trees myself I have found immense pleasure to see them now reaching a height of 50 feet.

In Canada, Toronto is known as a city within a forest. Most streets are lined with 100-year-old trees. Even in the new suburbs, new trees are planted along the streets and it is up to residents to look after them. Cutting them down is a serious offence.

However, it is more than the lack of respect for trees here that is the problem. Maltese do not understand the simple concept of shade whether it be from a tree or a covered terrace. Countries around Malta such as Sicily, Tunisia and Greece have a shaded area attached to a house usually covered with grapevines, or trumpet flowers or bougainvillaea to sit and dine under the umbrella of coolness they offer.

One rarely sees that here. In fact, few houses have a protected area above large windows facing south. It’s best to suffer and complain about the heat; so what chance does a tree with its generous canopy of shady relief have?

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