Trees and woodlands are known to be restricted in the Maltese Islands; these have been recognised as meriting protection, both for their biological and cultural importance. For this reason, various trees and woodlands are protected through various national designations for their antiquity, rarity, ecological and cultural importance. Below is some information on these designations, namely on Tree Protection Areas, Tree Protection Orders and the List of Historical Trees.

Tree Protection Areas

The need for the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to set up an inventory of Tree Protection Areas (TPAs) stems from the Trees and Woodland Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.123), which aims at protecting the trees and woodlands of the Maltese Islands, particularly native species and communities.

In accordance with the said regulation, there are a number of criteria that make sites eligible for designation. Such criteria, as specified in S.L. 549.123, are included below:

a.Maltese characteristic woodland communities;
b.trees or woodland communities which are rare, threatened, endangered or that have a reduced or restricted distribution in Malta;
c.trees and woodlands habitats critical to the survival, reproduction and recovery of endangered, threatened, vulnerable, endemic or otherwise important flora and fauna species;
d. trees or woodland communities of scientific, ecological, aesthetic, historical, cultural, arboricultural, silvicultural, agricultural, educational or landscape interest;
e.prominent landmark trees;
f. historical trees listed in the List of Historical Trees having an Antiquarian Importance Order (S.L. 445.02)​​;
g.ex-situ, live collections of rare, threatened or endangered specimens.

ERA, as part of its commitment to set up inventories of important trees and woodlands in Malta, has designated 30 TPAs in 2011 through G.N. 473 of 2011. In 2017, ERA designated 30 additional TPAs through G.N. 316 of 2017. In Malta, there are approximately 60 native tree species, of which 66% are rare or endangered. Through the declaration of these TPAs, these trees and woodlands are being given the well-deserved protection for our and future generations. The total number of TPAs over the Maltese Islands is 60 (5.8km2), of which 48 are in Malta, 10 are in Gozo and 2 are in Comino.

Some of the areas protect individual trees and groups of trees of value, such as the old olive trees in Ħal Lija, as well as other areas to ensure the protection of rare and threatened trees, which have a restricted native distribution in Malta. Examples of the latter include the dwarf fan palm at Tal-Merħla and the mock privet at Ta’ Xuxa in the Buskett area. Species that are not native but have other relevant important considerations are also included, such as the ficus tree, which is a landmark in the area known as ‘It-Tliet Siġriet’ in Tas-Sliema. Trees within a TPA are protected from activities and operations that may have an adverse impact on them, such as development.

Tree Protection Areas in Maltese Islands 2011 & 2017

Site codeTree Protection Areas - Declared in 2017Map
TPA025MTWied Żembaq (limiti ta’ B​irżebbuġa) – boundary of this site amends that of the site declared in 2011​Link​
TPA026MTBruka (Tamarix africana) fl-Imtaħleb (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA027MTIl-bruk (Tamarix africana) fir-Ramla tat-Torri (limiti tal-Marfa)Link
TPA028MTIl-ġenista l-bajda (Retana monosperma) fl-inħawi tal-Verdala (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA029MTIl-ħarruba (Ceratonia siliqua) fl-inħawi tax-Xemxija (limiti ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar)Link
TPA030MTIl-fikus (Ficus nitida) fl-inħawi tat-Tlett Siġriet (limiti ta’ Tas-Sliema)Link
TPA031MTIl-ġummara (Chamaerops humilis) f’Tal-Merħla (limiti tal-Imtaħleb)Link
TPA032MTIl-maklura (Maclura pomifera) fil-Ġonna ta’ Spencer (limiti tal-Marsa)Link
TPA033MTIċ-ċewsa l-ħadra (Broussonetia papyrifera) u l-maklura (Maclura pomifera) fiċ-Ċimiterju tal-Addolorata (limiti tal-Marsa)Link
TPA034MTL-olivastru (Phillyrea latifolia) fil-Buskett (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA035MTL-olivastru (Phillyrea latifolia) f’San Martin (limiti ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar)Link
TPA036MTIl-ġenisti s-sofor (Spartium junceum) fil-Palazz tal-Inkwiżitur (limiti tas-Siġġiewi)Link
TPA037MTL-ulmu Ingliż (Ulmus procera) fi Triq Burmarrad (limiti ta’ Burmarrad)Link
TPA038MTL-ulmu Ingliż (Ulmus procera) f’Wied Għajn Mula (limiti ta’ Burmarrad)Link
TPA039MTIl-ballut (Quercus ilex) f’Palazzo Parisio (limiti tan-Naxxar)Link
TPA040MTIż-żinżel (Ziziphus zizyphus) fl-Imtaħleb (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA041MTIż-żinżel (Ziziphus zizyphus) f’Wied l-Isperanza (limiti tal-Mosta)Link
TPA042MTMasġar tar-rand (Laurus nobilis) f’Wied is-Sir (limiti tal-Mosta)Link
TPA043MTMasġar tal-għadib (Vitex agnus-castus) f’Rdum Majjiesa (limiti tal-Mellieħa)Link
TPA044MTMasġar ta’ żebbuġ antik (Olea europaea) f’Wied Ħal Lija (limiti ta’ Ħal Lija)Link
TPA045MTŻebbuġ (Olea europaea), żnuber (Pinus halepensis) u ballut (Quercus ilex) ġol-Ġnien ta’ Villa Frere (limiti Tal-Pietà)Link
TPA046MTĠnibru (Juniperus phoenicea) fil-Ballut tal-Wardija (limiti ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar)Link
TPA047MTDifla (Nerium oleander) f’Ħarq il-Ħammiem (limiti ta’ Pembroke)Link
TPA048MTŻebbuġa (Olea europaea) u ħarrub (Ceratonia siliqua) f’Tas-Santi, Binġemma (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA004GXŻebbuġa (Olea europaea) fit-Triq Stivala (limiti taż-Żebbuġ)Link
TPA005GXSiġra tal-għadib (Vitex agnus-castus) f’Wied tal-Pergla (limiti tax-Xagħra)Link
TPA006GXLuq (Populus alba) f’Wied tal-Lunzjata (limiti f’Ta’ Kerċem)Link
TPA007GXMasġar tal-luq (Populus alba) f’Wied Sara (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA008GXMakkja f’Wied Mġarr ix-Xini (limiti ta’ Għajnsielem)Link
TPA009GXMasġar taż-żebbuġ (Olea europaea) ġol-Ġnien Ta’ Blankas (limiti tax-Xewkija)Link
TPA010GXĠummara (Chamaerops humilis) fi Triq Skapuċċina (limiti taż-Żebbuġ)Link

Site codeTree Protection Areas - Declared in 2011Map
TPA001MTĠnien il-Kbir, il-Buskett u Wied il-GirgentiLink
TPA002MTIċ-Ċagħaq (limiti tal-Imġarr)Link
TPA003MTIċ-Ċimiterju tal-AddolorataLink
TPA004MTIl-ballut tal-Imġiebaħ (limiti tal-Mellieħa)Link
TPA005MTIl-ballut tal-Wardija (limiti ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar)Link
TPA006MTIl-Maqluba (limiti tal-Qrendi)Link
TPA007MTIl-Wied tal-Fiddien (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA008MTL-inħawi tan-Nigret (limiti tan-Naxxar)Link
TPA009MTIż-żebbuġ tal-Bidnija (limiti tal-Mosta)Link
TPA010MTL-inħawi tal-Imtaħleb (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA011MTTa’ Baldu/l-Inħawi ta’ Wied Ħażrun (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA012MTTa’ Bloq – Għar Ħanżir (limiti ta’ Ħal Qormi u s-Siġġiewi)Link
TPA013MTTal-Virgi (limiti ta’ Marsaskala)Link
TPA014MTTa’ San Blas (limiti tar-Rabat u Ħaż-Żebbuġ)Link
TPA015MTTriq il-Wied tal-ImsidaLink
TPA016MTWied Għollieqa (limiti ta’ San Ġwann u l-Imsida)Link
TPA017MTWied il-Faħam (limiti ta’ Ħal Għargħur)Link
TPA018MTWied il-Għasel (limiti tal-Mosta)Link
TPA019MTWied il-Ħut (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA020MTL-inħawi tal-Wied il-Miżieb (limiti tal-Mellieħa)Link
TPA021MTWied ir-Rum (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA022MTWied Moqbol (limiti taż-Żurrieq)Link
TPA023MTWied Qirda (limiti tas-Siġġiewi)Link
TPA024MTWied tal-Baħrija (limiti tar-Rabat)Link
TPA025MTWied Żembaq (limiti ta’ Birżebbuġa) – boundary of this site has been amended by that declared in 2017Link
TPA001GXGħajn Barrani (limiti tax-Xagħra)Link
TPA002GXIl-Qattara (limiti ta’ San Lawrenz)Link
TPA003GXWied Binġemma (limiti tan-Nadur)Link
TPA001KMIl-Ħażina (Kemmuna)Link
TPA002KMIl-Qala ta’ Santa Marija (Kemmuna)Link

Il-Buskett woodland
Il-Buskett woodland

Tree Preservation Orders

Further to the abovementioned TPAs, and through the provisions of the Development Planning Act (Cap. 552), the following are sites that were designated as ‘Trees Preservation Orders’:

Tree Preservation OrderGovernment Notice
Carob, almond trees and undergrowth at Wied Blandun, il-FguraLink
Ta' Blankas olive grove, ix-XewkijaLink
Semi-natural woodland dominated by Aleppo pine at Kennedy Grove, is-Salini (limiti ta' San Pawl il-Baħar)Link
Canary Island palm, Norfolk Island palm trees and buffer zone at Triq Gilardu, San Pawl il-Baħar Link

List of Historical Trees having an Antiquarian Importance

Through the provisions of the List of Historical Trees having an Antiquarian Importance Order (S.L. 445.02), the following trees were designated as ‘Historical Trees having an Antiquarian Importance’:

  • Il-Ballut tal-Wardija (ballut antik);
  • Il-Wied tal-Imġiebaħ, il-Mellieħa (ballut antik);
  • Il-Bidnija, il-Wardija (żebbuġ antik);
  • Il-Buskett (siġar antiki);
  • Il-ġonna ta’ San Anton (siġar antiki);
  • Il-ġonna tal-Mall, il-Furjana (siġar antiki).

For further information contact ERA on [email protected] or on +356 2292 3500​​.​

Other links​

ERA webpages

Press release
PosterMaltese versionEnglish version
Maltese treesLinkLink
Il-Ballut tal-WardijaLinkLink
Wied il-MiżiebLinkLink
Sandarac gum treeLinkLink