If you are a homeowner living in an area susceptible to wildfires, chances are you think about the dangers that these natural disasters can pose to your home fairly often. For many people losing their home to fire is their worst nightmare.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to make your home safer. Today we are going to talk about things that you can do in terms of tree care and landscaping that will greatly improve the safety of your home.
Consulting With A Tree Specialist
We suggest that you hire a professional arborist tree specialist as their expertise can be invaluable. They also can get tree work done efficiently and effectively to decrease the risk of your home catching fire.
In addition to tree care, we will discuss some basic landscaping tips. Some of these ideas will be things that you can pull off on your own. However, depending on how much time you have, how handy you are, and the needs of your property, you may want to hire a professional.
Your tree specialist may be able to help, or will likely be able to refer you to a landscaper for any work that requires extra care.
Now that we have gone over the subject matter we will be covering, let’s get into it. We hope that this article will help you start getting ready to protect your home against fire.
Trim Low Hanging Branches
The first thing you will want to talk to an arborist about is trimming low hanging branches on any trees on your property. It is generally suggested that all branches within ten feet of the ground should be removed.
It may be tempting to remove tree limbs on your own as it seems like a simple task if you know your way around a chainsaw. However, a professional arborist will likely have tips on how to further improve safety and will surely have knowledge and skills that you don’t have regarding maintaining the health and well being of trees.
Excessive trimming and poorly done trimming can cause structural damage and create other health problems for trees. A trained arborist with strong ethics will work with you to balance fire safety and plant health.
If you already have a tree specialist that you trust, you should continue working with them.
Remove Debris & Dead Trees
Part of fire protection for your property is clearing out any excessive debris, especially dead trees and dry vegetation. An arborist will be able to get this done quickly and will have ideas for optimizing future growth. They may convert old trees into mulch which will be excellent for improving the quality of your soil.
Dead trees and dry plants are some of the worst culprits when it comes to spreading wildfires. Dried trees and vegetation are extremely combustible and removing them will greatly reduce risk to your property.
Keep Grass Cut Low
Keeping your grass low will also help remove the risk of spreading fire. Dry grass is especially dangerous, but any tall grass presents hazards.
Create Space Between Trees & Shrubbery
This is another area where an arborist will be a huge asset for you. Trees, bushes, and other shrubberies should all have distance between other plants. This will decrease the likelihood of flames spreading between plants.
A tree specialist will have expertise and input on how to create a safe distance between your plants and trees. In some cases, they may even be able to relocate plants rather than removing them.
Add Space Between Your Home & Combustible Plants
Aside from just creating space between plants, you also will want space between your house and any trees or shrubbery. An arborist will have more specific input, but in general terms, you will want a significant distance established to avoid spreading flames between any plants that may catch fire and your home.
Prepare Well In Advance
These are not small projects. You will want to start preparing for fire season well in advance. Aside from just the pragmatics of needing time to get these projects done, keep in mind that arborists and landscapers are in high demand leading up to fire season.
Do Your Part
Between visits from your tree specialist and landscapers, it is a good idea to do some light maintenance on your property yourself. Just make sure to consult professionals for tips.
- Some Gear You May Want To Pick Up:
- Hand Saw
- Lawn Rake
- Weed Wacker
- Hedge Trimmer
- Fire Extinguisher
Now that we have discussed general plant management around your property, we are going to briefly discuss some other tips for protecting your home from fire.
Other Things To Consider
Aside from plant management, there are many things that you can do to improve the structure of your home. These are big projects that can be very pricey, but if you are getting ready to upgrade your home, here are a few tips for how you can use this as an opportunity to made your home safer.
Things To Consider When Doing Minor Renovations:
- Install Fire Screens
- Use Fire Retardant Drapes Inside
- Install Lattice On Porches And Decks
- Surround Your Home Wing 5 Feet Of Stones
Things To Consider When Doing Significant Renovations:
- Use Non-Combustible Materials For Shudders
- Use Non-Combustible Materials When Installing New Siding
- Use A “Class A” Material Such As Asphalt To Replace Roofing
- Tempered Materials For Windows And Doors Will Greatly Reduce Risk
Having discussed both plant management strategies and a few things you can do during renovations, let’s wrap things up and let you get on your way.
The prospect of wildfires can be terrifying and overwhelming. The good news is that there is a lot that you can do as a homeowner, especially if you are willing to hire professionals for help. Hiring an arborist tree specialist will help you to make sure that your property is well maintained in terms of plant management.
As you get ready to prepare your home for wildfire season, we wish you the best of luck and hope that this guide will help you on your way.