Planting More trees in Malta

contributed by David Grech, year 5.1

In my spare time I enjoy working in the garden, mostly sowing more trees.  I do this in order to increase the number of trees in Malta since they protect us against air pollution and climate change.

I do this by putting a closed pinecone in a warm oven to heat it. The warmth makes the pinecone open.  Then I shake the pinecone and take the seeds from it.  Once I have the seeds, I put them in a seedling tray filled with compost.  I use my fingers to form a hole in each pot and put a seed in each hole.  I cover the hole once again and then I wet the compost with water.

A close-up of a plantlet.  This is an Aleppo Pine and is around 3 months old

After a few weeks, the seedlings start to sprout and once they are five centimetres tall, they are ready to be transplanted.  I use empty milk cartons cut in half and with holes cut in the bottom.  This also helps the environment since I am recycling throughout the process.  Finally, I fill each carton with compost and then plant a seedling in it.

When the seedlings are big enough, I will plant them in a public space.  This  process usually takes three years.  I really hope that these seedlings develop into mature trees that will give us a better environment.

A photo of David with some of the plantlets he has grown from seeds and which he looks after