Completion of the New Fencing System

In the summer of 2021, the new fencing system to protect the 30 trees of the population and the established natural renewal was completed. 1800 chestnut poles (2.50 meters high) were used, and over 3.5 kilometers were enclosed with netting and metal wires. The protected area was expanded to cover a total surface of 14000 m2 around the Abies nebrodensis plants.

Phytosanitary surveys

Phytosanitary investigations on trees in the natural population have been completed. These investigations included inspections of the foliage, sampling of branches affected by disorders (blight, needle reddening and loss, chlorosis) and isolation of fungal microorganisms have been carried out. Outcomes showed that the disturbances observed are related to the severe environmental conditions which Abies nebrodensis is experiencing, and, together with the fungal community observed on the symptomatic and healthy needles (consisting mainly of weak pathogens and saprophytes,) indicate that the species is able to cope with the restrictions of its habitat.

Setting up reforestation plots

The planting out of the selected seedlings in the 10 areas chosen for the reforestation has started in spring 2023. The figures below show the repopulation nuclei set up in Favarotti (Isnello) and Mandarini (Petralia Sottana). Two-meter-high fences provide protection for the 300 Abies nebrodensis plants in the installations.


In the photo below, a newly planted Abies nebrodensis seedling is circled in red, while the arrows indicate the two broom plants (Spartium junceum) placed inside the hole to protect the fir seedling.

Inauguration of the Seed Bank and Cryobank

The inauguration of the Seed Bank and Cryobank developed within the framework of the LIFE4FIR project took place on July 21, 2023, in the presence of the Mayor of Polizzi Generosa, Gandolfo Librizzi, and the Councilor for Environmental Policies, Gaetano Bellavia, as well as researchers from IBE-CNR and the University of Palermo who developed the protocols and procedures. The biobank is managed by an employee of the Madonie Park Authority who has previously participated in a specific training session for this purpose.