Wildfire protection linked to landscaping

Updated Apr 14, 2020


Wildfires destroy hundreds of homes every year across the country.

Fires can be particularly dangerous in hot and dry climates, and as we reach the fire season, landscapers can have a direct hand in reducing the spreading of wildfires.

Through careful plant selection, planting strategies and proper maintenance, landscapers can significantly reduce the rate of which fire spreads.

Landscapers can create a perimeter around residential and commercial areas by trimming the trees and brush within 30 feet of the buildings.

Choosing fire-resistant materials such as rocks, fire-resistant plants, less flammable trees like hardwood, maple and popular, fire will have less of a chance of spreading faster.

Landscapers have the ability to create fire-safe zone such as swimming pools, stone walls, patios and decks.

More tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Remove all dead plants, trees and shrubs from the site.
  • Reduce excess leaves, plant parts and low-hanging branches.
  • Replace dense flammable plants with fire-resistant plants.
  • The choice of plants, spacing and maintenance are crucial elements in any defensible space landscaping plan.
  • Beyond 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris and low tree branches.
  • Eliminate small trees and plants growing under trees. They allow ground fires to jump into tree crowns.
  • Space trees 30 feet apart and prune to a height of 8 to 10 feet.
  • Place shrubs at least 20 feet from any structures and prune regularly.
  • Plant the most drought-tolerant vegetation within three feet of your home and adjacent to structures to prevent ignition.
  • Provide at least a 10 to 15-foot separation between islands of shrubs and plant groups to effectively break-up continuity of vegetation.
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