With the recent wild fires that have devastated many homes and lives here in Northern and Southern California, I thought it would be a great idea to pass along some basic landscaping rules for helping reduce fire damage at your home or business from a landscaping prospective.
Firescaping is very important for all homes that border any open space,including houses built along canyons, and this landscaping involves designing landscaping plant materials to help in protection from wildfires. A successful design plan for choosing 'Fire-resistant' plant materials involves breaking down the property in four zones.
Zone 1 ( 50 ft. closest to the home ) Moist & trim. Turf,ground covers,small perennials,and annual color. Water these plant regularly and avoid using plants with high resin content such as pines,junipers,cedars,eucalyptus,etc...
Zone 2. ( 51-100 feet ) Low & sparse. Slow growing,drought-tolerant shrubs and ground covers can be used to keep the fire at ground level. Use plant material with a naturally high moisture content such as succulents, and aloes.
Zone 3 (101-150 ft. ) High & clean. Trees can be installed inn this zone making sure their branches are at least 10 ft. away from the nearest tree and they should have no branches that are closer than 15 ft. from the ground.
Zone 4 ( 150 ft. and beyond ) Natural area. This area may not be landscaped but, it still should be well maintained maintenance wise with the trees thinned twice a year and all low branches, leaf litter. and dead plants & branches removed.
On slopes or windswept areas,increase the spacing of the plant materials,use colored rocks or stones for a mulch and avoid using bark or shredded dry mulch.
Use materials that is inorganic or inflammable such as flagstone,decomposed granite ( Very popular ) rocks & pebbles, artificial wood for decks and fences.
* There is a fire safe mulch that is available that includes an additional process with a fire resistant additive that we have available if you still plan to use shredded mulch. Contact me at our website comment section for more information on this product.
By taking into consideration the four firescaping zone suggestions, it is my hope this will help reduce the threat of fire devastation to your home or business.
Here in Southern California, we should seriously consider which plan of action to use to help protect one's home and businesses from seasonal wild fires. Wild fires can occur at any time an are especially devastating in the late summer and early fall when it is normally seasonally hot and windy from our Santa Ana winds.
I have witnessed on news the havoc and destruction fires have caused in Washington state and other western states and pray that those effected by their wildfires will have faith, and hope to rebuild and rethink their "Firscaping" plans.
Listed below is a suggested plan when " Firescaping" with fire-resistant plant materials.
* The first order of business is to break down your property into 4 zonal areas.
* Zone 1 : 50 ft. and closest to your home.
Suggested plan of action : keep area moist and well trimmed,
Install turf,ground covers,and annual color.
Avoid using plants with high resin content ( Pines, Junipers,Eucalyptus etc.. )
* Zone 2: 51-100 ft.
Keep landscaping low and sparse.
Slow growing,drought tolerant shrubs & ground covers are to be considered to keep the fire at ground level.
Use plant materials with high moisture content.
* Zone 3: 101-150 ft.
Keep area high and clean
Trees are suggested to be planted in this zone with their branches at least 10 ft. away from the nearest tree and their branches should be no closer than 15 ft, from the ground.
* Zone 4 : 150 ft. and beyond
This should be considered your "Natural Area"
This area may not be landscaped, it still should be well maintained.
Trees are suggested to be thinned twice a year.
all low branches, leaf litter, and dead plants & branches should be removed.
* Other items to consider:
Use crushed stone for mulch and avoid using bark or shredded dry mulch.
Use materials such as rocks & pebbles, decomposed granite,flagstone, and artificial wood that is inorganic or inflammable when building fences,decks, etc...
By keeping these simple suggestions in mind during this high fire season, it is my hope these suggestions will help save not only your home or business during a wild fire but maybe more important, you and your families lives.