Firescaping: Create a Fire-Resistant Landscape

firescaping plants

Firescaping: Create a Fire-Resistant Landscape

15:30 25 September in News

Wildfire in San Diego County is a big threat during the late summer and fall months. It is important to consider the design, plant selection, and preventative maintenance of your landscape to help protect your home from wildfires. Simple fire safety and prevention strategies to consider when landscaping include the following:

CREATE A DEFENSIBLE SPACE:
• Keep 100 feet of defensible space around structures.
• Maintain lawns or groundcovers on slopes to suppress fires.
• Use wide-brick or paver pathways to divide your landscape and prevent fire from spreading across the garden.

CLEAN UP PLANTS AND TREES:
• Plant shrub groupings at least 18 feet from one another.
• Trim the lower limbs of trees to at least 15 feet off the ground.
• Thin trees so that the crowns are separated by at least 10 feet.
• Prune dead branches from trees.
• Remove dead leaves, branches, and pine cones from your yard, roof, and gutters.

CHOOSE PLANTS WISELY:
• Select low-maintenance groundcovers and low-growing plants.
• Do not plant evergreen trees and shrubs such as pines, junipers, and cedars.
• Plant deciduous trees (trees that lose their foliage in the fall and grow new leaves in the spring such as oak, maple, and elm) that do not produce much wood.
• Avoid planting high-resin or low-moisture plants.
• Choose plants with high moisture content such as succulents and cactus.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
opens in a new windowCAL FIRE
opens in a new windowCalifornia Native Plant Society
opens in a new windowCounty of San Diego
opens in a new windowDivision of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
opens in a new window   University of California

For more information on plants that resist ignition, click opens in a new windowhere.

graphic of firescaping Graphic by the San Diego County Fire Authority.
Click on the image to enlarge.