A fire-resistant landscape isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained landscape. This type of landscape uses fire-resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your buildings and other structures. Fire resistant plants are great in California because they are often drought tolerant, too.
Incorporating hardscape, such as granite paths and stone walls is another way to make your landscape more fire-resistant.
Choose Fire-Resistant Plants and Materials
- Hardy, slow growing plants that don't produce a lot of thatch. These plants accumulate fuel at a slower pace, reducing your maintenance requirements.
- Drought tolerant native plants that can maintain a high internal water content without needing a lot of water - succulents like Dudleya species or aloes are examples.
- Native trees that have adaptations to fire such as thick bark. These trees have a higher tolerance for fire and help restrict the growth of more volatile invasive and shrub species.
- Create fire-resistant zones with stone walls, patios, decks and roadways.
- Use rock and mulch as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.
Not so Good!
- Plants like juniper, Italian cypress, feather and fountain grasses, or ice plants can have dead thatch inside or under a green surface layer.
- Plants like eucalyptus, palms, or some manzanitas shed dry bark or drop leaves or fronds.
- Invasive plants can escape yards and form continuous fuel beds in un-managed areas, while damaging native habitat for wildlife.