Fire-safe, fire-resistant landscaping

— State Point

June 24, 2014 

A fire safe landscape isn't necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. A fire safe landscape uses fire resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your home.

The good news is, you don't need a lot of money to make your landscape fire safe. And you will find that a fire safe landscape can increase your property value and conserve water while beautifying your home.

Choosing fire resistant plants and landscaping materials is easy when you know what to look for.

Create fire-safe zones with stone walls, patios, swimming pools, decks and roadways.

Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.

There are no "fire-proof" plants. Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.

Choose fire-retardant plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, iceplant and aloe.

Fire-resistant shrubs include hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.

Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.

Check your local nursery, landscape contractor or county extension service for advice on fire resistant plants that are suited for your environment, and help to plan your landscape.

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