6 Tips For Protecting Your Trees From Wildfires in Northern California, especially in the El Dorado area
The news is fraught with reports of wildfires in California and across the nation every summer. Even in urban areas like El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, and Folsom, the danger of ravages from wildfires are as real as tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes in the Southeast.
While wildfires won’t go away anytime soon, you can take steps to prevent wildfires from spreading to your home or yard. Here are some tips to prevent wildfires from starting or spreading near your home.
6 Tips For Protecting Your Trees From Wildfires
#1. Plan your landscape strategically.
Dense vegetation is a recipe for spreading the fire quickly, so ensure there is adequate space between your trees and shrubs. Space trees at least 10 ft apart. Remove any vegetation that touches the house, especially around the chimney–this means tree branches and vines, too.
#2. Plant fire-resistant, native trees and shrubs.
While no vegetation is fire-proof, selecting plants native to El Dorado County, Amador County, and Sacramento County is a great way to reduce your fire risk. Choose hardwood trees such as maple and cherry, which are less flammable than firs and pines. The fact that native plants are usually drought tolerant is a bonus for your water bill!
#3. Remove dead, dying, or diseased tree limbs.
The dangers of not trimming or pruning your trees go beyond sideways glances from annoyed neighbors or nasty notes from your HOA. All vegetation is fuel for wildfires, but dead branches are dry and burn faster and hotter than live branches, causing the fire to spread more quickly. Call a professional tree service to remove dead or dying branches from your trees; a certified arborist will be sure to remove all the problem areas, balance the tree so it remains structurally sound, and safely discard all the branches for you.
#4. Thin or trim your trees regularly.
Not only does regular tree service create beautiful, but healthy trees, removing excess vegetation from the trees also rids you of extra fuel for the wildfire, should one start. Trimming your trees will help them keep an appropriate distance from buildings, utility poles, and other trees, minimizing your fire risk.
#5. Make sure your roof, gutters, and yard are free of leaves and debris.
Dried leaves and lawn clippings are kindling for wildfires. Dispose of all yard waste promptly (before it dries out) to reduce the risk of ignition. And don’t forget to clear out the hidden areas of your yard, like under the deck and next to the fence!
#6. Create a defensible area immediately around your home.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends creating a 30-foot safety zone around your house that contains minimal vegetation. This not only prevents a fire from spreading from your landscaping to your home, but it also provides an area in which firefighters can work should your home or yard ever catch fire.
Fire-Resistant Landscaping For Your Home
If you are interested in creating a fire-resistant landscape for your El Dorado Hills home or optimizing the yard you already have, give us a call. Our team of certified arborists can help you select native trees and shrubs that will be beautiful, drought-tolerant, and fire-resistant.