One of the joys of living in the woods is being surrounded by nature. Yet, there are some safety concerns about forest living, and one of those concerns is fires. Proper landscaping can help reduce fire danger near your home. Implement the following tree care tips to help keep your home and landscape safe during fire season.
1. Prune Out Deadwood
Branches and twigs tend to die out in a tree canopy every year, but you don't want to leave this dry, dead wood on the tree as it can ignite too easily. Schedule pruning to remove deadwood in spring when it tends to be most severe. A tree service can easily spot the deadwood before a tree leafs out, as the dead branches are those with no buds on them.
2. Prevent Branch Overhang
In fire zones it's typically recommended to plant trees at least 10 feet away from homes and other structures, but this space is only useful as long as the canopy branches don't overhang the structure. Fire can easily spread from a tree canopy to the roof of a home. Keep branches, including healthy branches, trimmed back so that they do not overhang the roof or touch the side of a building.
3. Remove Problem Trees
Sometimes the safest thing to do for your home and landscape is to remove trees. If you have trees growing right up against a building, for example, it is best to remove them completely as they can pose a major fire danger. Trees that tend to lean or that have a split trunk are also more dangerous, as they are more likely fall over and spread fire in the event of a wild fire. It's also a good idea to remove trees that tend to produce a lot of deadwood or that are struggling health-wise. You can replace them with healthier trees with fewer problems.
4. Create a Defensible Space
In wild fire prone areas it is usually recommended to plant in zones. Zone 1 is the zone closest to your home, and it should have no trees in it. Zone 2 is the next zone, and it is fine to have a few trees here but they should be well spaced so that fire is less likely to jump between the trees in this zone.
5. Dispose of Debris
Tree debris can provide tinder for a wild fire. You need to keep debris like leaves, needles, and twigs swept from your roof at all times. Fallen debris, such as leaves and branches, should also be raked up and disposed of frequently. Otherwise, you are simply providing fuel for a fire.
Contact a company that provides tree care services in your area for more help.