Landscaping is what transforms a house into a home. It’s an important part of decorating your home, but should not be limited to just planting trees, flower beds, or shrubs. Landscaping should also incorporate plants that will help protect your home from natural disasters, like fires – especially if you live in an area that’s prone to wildfires. A fire resistant landscape doesn’t have to be dull, or unattractive. With proper planning, you can add beautiful, fire-resistant features to your home’s landscape.
You can use a variety of beautiful plants, trees, shrubs, and other vegetation as long as they are arranged properly. The arrangement will great affect the transfer of heat.
Fires generally spread horizontally and vertically. First, it spreads horizontally across the surface of your yard, then vertically through what are called “ladder fuels”. Ladder fuels are any flora that provides fire with the opportunity to rise vertically, like a ladder, and spread to elevated structures.
As a rule of thumb, low-growing plants should be placed closest to the house while the tallest ones, like trees, should be kept far away, or at least 10 feet from the edge of any structure according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Proper spacing between plants should be part of a fire resistant landscaping technique as well.
The use of stone, or man-made structures is a key element in the creation of a fire resistant landscape. If a fire does break out, the patches of open space filled with non-flammable materials will put a stop to its spread once and for all.
Not only will incorporating hardscape structures turn your lawn into a fire resistant one, but it will also act as a refreshing contrast to your gorgeous plants.
There’s no shortage of designs and ideas that can be used when it comes to hardscaping. You can create a path made of natural stone to keep grass or shrubs from lapping against your house. You can also group certain plants together by using dry-stack stones. Surrounding your trees with rings of rocks can also double as a firebreak.
Use fire-retardant plants
These are plants that have the capability to hold a large amount of moisture. The moisture will keep the plants from easily igniting if touched by an ember. Succulent plants like aloe, hens-and-chicks, the panda plant, and pincushion cactus are all strong choices. They can fend off fire and are easy to maintain, too.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about them withering in the summer months, since their roots hold enough water to keep them plump and healthy. When adding trees, pick ones that are non-resinous like apple, birch, aspen, elm, black walnut, alder, or maple. Resinous trees, like conifers or fir, contain substances that are highly flammable.
Remember, maintaining a fire-resistant landscape is just as important as creating one. Periodic check-ups from a landscaping expert, keeping the area free from dry leaves and other fine fuels, and ensuring a well-watered garden should all be a part of your goal in protecting your space from fires. And don’t forget to clean your gutters, either.
With a bit of research and professional help, creating a fire resistant landscape without sacrificing the look of your yard is indeed possible.