Wildfires can be a major concern for those living in rural areas or high fire risk locations. You likely chose your home in part due to the beauty of the surrounding trees, but you don't want to risk your home because of these trees. The following trimming and maintenance tips can help mitigate some of the wildfire danger that the trees can present.
1. Remove Overhanging Branches
No branches should overhang your home, as these provide a quick conduit for fire to travel from the ground to your roof or walls. Keep in mind that a wildfire can also create its own weather pattern, complete with wind, so branches need to be trimmed back far enough so they don't touch your home even during high winds.
2. Prevent the Ladder Effect
The ladder effect is when a quick-burning fire in the ground vegetation is able to get into the trees and become an inferno. There are two situations that can lead to this -- a slow-burning fire that can dry out a tree trunk and eventually ignite it, or a quick-burning fire that uses dead wood lower on the tree to get into the drier canopy above. Keep all the scrubby weak branches and dead wood trimmed off the tree. Also, consider having the tree canopies raised through proper pruning so they are above the grass fire zone below.
3. Maintain Defensible Space
Defensible space is the buffer zone around your house. In areas with high wildfire risks, this zone is typically hardscaped with non-flammable paving or rock mulch. Don't plant trees inside this buffer zone, since you don't want anything large and combustible growing too near the house. Small herbaceous plants, like flowers, are acceptable, but trees will need to be removed or transplanted further out from the home.
4. Trim Out Dead Wood
Deadwood in the tree canopy is simply firewood waiting for a spark. Annual tree trimming to remove dead, dying, and damaged branches can lower the risk of your landscape trees becoming a torch in the event of a fire. The best time for complete tree pruning may be in late winter, but you can have deadwood trimmed out at any time of year without any major stress to the tree.
5. Take Down Dying Trees
Any dead or dying trees near the home should be removed promptly. Dead trees can easily become a torch in the event of a fire. The dry wood burns hot, which makes the chances of igniting nearby healthy trees greater. Further, blowing embers from a burning dead tree can travel to your home.
Contact a tree trimming service for more assistance.Share
17 June 2020
Elm, ash, walnut, maple, apple — these are all gorgeous trees, but they all have their own preferences in terms of care. Maple trees, for example, need to be pruned later in the season once their sap has begun flowing. Elm trees should be pruned in winter when insects aren't around in order to protect them from the emerald ash borer. A good tree care company will treat each of your trees as individuals, customizing care to their own specific needs. Still, it's important that you, as the tree owner, understand those needs, too. Read the articles on your website, and you'll soon have a pretty good grasps on the basics of tree care.