Many Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Utah homeowners, think that pruning is the best way to ensure the health and safety of the trees on their property, and they’re right. Preventative tree care like pruning provides you with a wide variety of benefits that prolong the life of your trees by ensuring structural integrity and growth while minimizing the risks of dead or weak branches.
But did you know that preventative tree care includes fire safety? Homeowners that don’t regularly prune their trees increase the potential of fire spread due to low branches and excessive yard waste like leaves, sticks, etc. That’s why Westcoast Tree Care would like to talk about creating a defensible space with fire risk abatement in today’s post.
Fire Risk Abatement
When it comes to fire risk abatement, it’s important to identify any problem areas and assess the health of your trees to see which ones are most susceptible to fire.
- Signs Of Susceptible Tree’s:
- Foliage loss or leafless branches
- Missing bark
- Dry, brittle branches
- Fungi or insect infestation
A dead or dying tree is an extreme fire and safety hazard that should be removed immediately. A certified arborist will help you to identify and remedy these potential hazards.
Proper Tree Spacing
Vertical spacing is the removal of branches and vegetation that create a bridge from the ground to treetops. At Westcoast Tree Care, we recommend removing all tree branches at least 6 feet from the ground for lone trees to provide adequate vertical spacing.
If you have trees that grow closely to one another, it’s best to ensure there is at least 10 feet of horizontal spacing between their branches or nearby structures like your home.
This distance should also be increased when dealing with trees on a sloped property:
- 10 feet for flat to mild slopes
- 20 feet for mild to moderate slopes
- 30 feet or more for moderate to steep slopes
This allows for adequate spacing between trees and shrubs to slow or prevent the spread of wildfire on your property.
Depending on the state you live in, there are recommended guidelines for safeguarding your home and property against wildfire. The primary goal is to create a defensible space surrounding your property that is free of thick, overgrown vegetation that can fuel the spread of wildfire. Some of these guidelines include:
Zone 1 – 30 feet from structures
- Trim branches regularly at least 10 feet away from nearby trees and structures.
- Remove all dry and dead vegetation.
- Create a clear space between trees, bushes, and other flammable items.
Zone 2 – 30 to 100 feet from structures
- Create horizontal space between trees and nearby structures.
- Create a vertical space between trees and the ground
- Cut grass to a maximum height of 4 inches
- Cut grass low to a maximum height of 4 inches.
These guidelines mentioned above help to prevent the necessary fuel it takes for a fire to spread and burn. Dry or dead vegetation, on the other hand, allows a fire to sustain and travel from one location to another.
Westcoast Tree Care
With years of experience, the certified arborist at Westcoast Tree Care specializes in tree pruning, removal, and fire risk abatement services. For more information, contact us by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733 for a no-cost, no-obligation quote. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to safeguard your property from wildfire.