Since it launched its nationwide tree-planting programme in summer 2019, Infrastructure Malta has now introduced over 11,800 indigenous trees in 80 different roadside strips and other urban and rural areas in Malta.

Infrastructure Malta aims to extend this initiative in other localities in the coming months to surpass last year’s total of 8,719 trees. In 2019, Infrastructure Malta planted more trees in Malta than any other government, voluntary or private organisation.

Through this environmental commitment, the agency also contracted the services required to water and take care of these trees for several years, until they are fully established in their environment.

Around the trees planted this year, Infrastructure Malta’s arborists and landscaping experts have also planted some 1,800 perennial shrubs, some of which can eventually be trained into trees as well.

Many of the new trees planted during the last three months are in green zones along existing roads or new ones being built through the agency’s projects. In February and March, Infrastructure Malta added 84 trees along the newly-rebuilt Qormi Road and San Tumas Road, between Qormi and Luqa. Another 196 and 120 trees were added in roadside green areas along T’Alla u Ommu Hill, in Naxxar and Mdina Road, Qormi. Other trees were planted in sites indicated by the public in response to the agency’s appeal for suggestions earlier this year.

Infrastructure Malta is also collaborating with several local councils and voluntary organisations to identify more areas for new trees.

A selection of over 30 indigenous tree species

In Santa Luċija, the agency planted over 1,000 trees in 11 streets this year. Through similar collaborations, the agency added some 145 trees in Attard and Balzan. Infrastructure Malta is planting another 580 trees in these two localities and in Birkirkara, in and around the arterial road corridor it is upgrading through the Central Link Project.  

Infrastructure Malta’s arborists are choosing the trees for each site out of a selection of over 30 indigenous tree species such as tamarisk, olives, cypress, European dwarf palms, lentisk, holm oaks, Aleppo pines, myrtle, sandarac gum trees (also known as araar, Malta’s national tree) and carobs.

Ing. Fredrick Azzopardi, Infrastructure Malta CEO, thanked the agency’s employees and contractors for their continued effort to improve the environment of Maltese roads and other public spaces.

“We’re not simply making up for trees that need to be transplanted or removed due to new projects by planting the minimum quantities requested by the authorities. We’re topping up these amounts with hundreds more trees, so that these areas will be greener than before and our infrastructure will be even more sustainable.

“With this commitment and through the air quality improvements of other investments such as the Marsa Junction Project and the Grand Harbour Clean Air Project, we’re establishing ourselves as the government entity implementing the most beneficial and effective plan for a better environment in Malta,” Ing. Azzopardi said.

Individuals or organisations who would like to suggest public spaces that Infrastructure Malta’s arborists can consider for the planting of new trees are encouraged to send their ideas by e-mail on sigar.im@infrastructuremalta.com.

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