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 Contact Name 
Mr. Carmelo Briffa
Diversification and Competitiveness
Government Farm
Ingieret Road

 22924178 / 21224030


St Vincent de Paule Fruit Tree Nursery

The Nursery was established in 1999 in a joint project with CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies) and IAMB (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari), and financed through the 4th Italo-Maltese Protocol.  It is the only nursery in Malta certified as a fruit tree propagation nursery. 



The aims of the nursery are:

1. to introduce innovative agricultural technology and cultivation techniques in the field of tree fruit production,
2. to introduce new fruit trees, varieties and rootstocks that are adaptable to local soil and climatic conditions, 
3. to evaluate the performance of fruit tree varieties, 
4. to promote the growing of less popular fruit trees,
5. to mass produce disease free fruit tree seedlings,
6. to produce fruit tree seedlings according to the minimum EU certification standards,
7. to provide the farming community and the public with a larger selection of fruit tree species, varieties and rootstocks,
8. to provide varieties that permit the widening of the seasonal availability of fruit on the local market, and 
9. to collect and preserve in ex-situ collections, and to propagate autochthonous (local) fruit tree varieties.


The grounds around St Vincent de Paule Residence for the Elderly formerly used by the Izra u Rabbi Corps were considered ideal for establishing such a nursery.  These fields were never used for the growing of fruit trees and they were also situated a substantial distance from other fruit growing areas.  Hence, the chances of cross infection and transport of diseases onto fruit trees being raised at the nursery are minimised.   

The nursery utilises about 60 tumoli (approx. 6.7ha) of land divided into a number of terranced fields.  On two of the largest fields of about 5 tumoli each several demonstration orchards were planted for eventual evaluation.  These consist of an olive orchard with 24 different olive varieties, a soft-stone fruit tree orchard with 100 varieties, and a pome fruit tree orchard with 12 varieties.  Another 3 tumoli of land are planted with virus free stone-fruit trees supplied by CIHEAM, and constitute the nursery’s mother block from which grafting material is taken.  The rest of the fields are used for the propagation of fruit trees and the planting of new orchards of autochthonous fruit tree varieties.

Fruit Trees Grown at the Nursery

The Nursery provides farmers and the public with thousands of fruit trees every year such as:
Peaches (ħawħ), white, yellow free-stone varieties and one flat variety,
Nectarines (nuċiprisk), both white and yellow varieties,
Apricots (berquq),
Plums (għajnbaqar),
Prunes (pruna jew settembrina),
Almonds (lewż ħelu),
Cherries (ċirasa)
Pears (lanġas),
Apples (tuffieħ),
Black and White Mulberries (tut u ċawsli),
Pomegranates (rummien),
Figs (tin), 
Loquat (Naspli mlaqqam),
Olives (żebbuġ tal-mejda, mejda u żejt u taż-żejt), 
Oranges and other citrus varieties.



The Nursery is also the main supplier of virus-free rootstocks such as:
GF677, used for the grafting of almonds, peaches, nectarines, plums and prunes,
Mirabolan 29C, used for the grafting of apricots, plums and prunes,
Malus seedling, used for the grafting of apples,
Pyrus betulaefolia seedling, used for the grafting of pears,
Morus alba, used for the grafting of black and white mulberries,
Ruggieri 140, used for the grafting of vines grown in light and highly calcareous soils, and
Paulsen 1103, used for the grafting of vines grown on clay soils or soils prone to waterlogging.  

All trees are grown according to CAC (Conformitas Agraria Communitatis) EU standards, which require that the fruit trees are free from common diseases, and that they satisfy certain quality standards as to size and varietal identity.

The majority of the fruit trees are grown in the open field and are uprooted in January and sold bare-rooted immediately afterwards.  Grafted olives, citrus trees, loquats and black mulberries are grown and sold in pots.  

Bookings and Sales

Bookings for fruit trees and rootstock are normally accepted at the Nursery’s office during the last two weeks of September.  Applicants are required to place a 25% deposit on orders.  In January, applicants are informed by post of the date and time to collect their fruit trees.  Pot grown fruit trees and olives are sold during the same two week periods in September and February.