The Trees and Woodlands Protection Regulations (S.L. 549.123) is the principal legal instrument regulating the protection of various tree species and it forms the basis on which these non-exhaustive lists were drawn.

The list of trees and shrubs includes species that can be planted in rural areas around the Maltese Islands.  The majority of the tree and shrub species listed are native, archaeophytic or indigenous to the Maltese Islands, as these species help to preserve and enhance the characteristic Maltese’s landscape and also tend to be more beneficial for wildlife.  Moreover, some alien trees have been included in this list too, on grounds of their use in fruticulture.  It is important to note that these alien species however, do not pose a threat to local biodiversity.

The ERA has also compiled, an indicative list of alien species that should not be planted in such areas due to the fact that their presence results in severe negative consequence for the local environment.  This list includes all species of the Second Schedule: Invasive, Alien or Environmentally-Incompatible Species as per S.L. 549.123 and also invasive alien plants of union concern.

Laurus nobilis in flower
Bay laurel
Pyrus communis s.l.
Cultivated pear

The main aim of both these lists, is to promote environmentally-sound and compatible planting among experts, professionals, voluntary organisations and also the general public.

It should be emphasised that both of these lists are to be treated as non-exhaustive guides and one should remember that they are, by their very nature, subject to changes and updates.  The primary focus of these lists, however, is to enhance rural spaces by planting trees and shrubs, which are both suitable and adaptable to the Maltese environment.  In addition, both lists provide information on the respective species such as water requirement, whether they are drought and salt tolerant, whether they produce edible fruits, amongst other features.  Such notes would help the user to plant the most appropriate species vis-à-vis the rural site of interest.

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