Fire-Wise Landscaping - Scapes
10 Jan

Fire-Wise Landscaping

Did you know that Florida is second in the nation for the highest rate of wildfires? This is according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It seems unusual in a fairly humid climate. However, many Florida communities are surrounded by forests and what is termed as wildlands. With this in mind, it is good practice to protect your home with fire-wise landscaping. Let’s take a look at what that means.

Creating a Safe Zone

The idea behind fire-wise landscaping design is to aim for a safe zone surrounding your home. This is also referred to as defensible space. This space sets up a natural barrier with fire-resistant plantings. It also encourages hardscapes made of materials that don’t burn in close proximity to your home, including egress pathways. These elements may be able to provide some extra time and safety for firefighters to access your property in the case of a wildfire.

Guidelines to Follow

There are some very basic guidelines to follow when planning your fire-wise landscaping design. Many of these have been learned from the devastating wildfires that seem to happen every year in California, fueled by the seasonal Santa Ana winds.

  • Locate your fire-resistant landscaping within 30 feet of your home.
  • Trim tree limbs and branches so that they are at least 6 to 10 feet above the ground and away from the structure.
  • Mow dry grass areas and prune shrubs.
  • Plant trees and shrubs several feet apart so as not to encourage flame spread from one planting to another.
  • Replace dry ground mulch with gravel.
  • Avoid plantings that are rich with resinous sap or waxy leaves.

Selecting Appropriate Plantings

It is a good idea to consult with your landscape professional when it comes to creating a safe zone barrier to help protect your home. Some recommended trees and shrubs might include citrus fruit trees, magnolias, pecan wood, various palms, a variety of succulents, and philodendron. It is best to avoid most pines and dry seagrasses.

Devise a Proper Plan

When planning your fire-wise landscape seek the help of a knowledgeable team, such as Scapes. Our experienced team can help with the selection and proper placement of appropriate plantings. We can also assist with the design and construction of attractive fire-resistant hard surfaces, such as stone patios, walls, and pathways.

Questions? Call us today at 904.671.6396 or