Trees Can Protect Property from Wildfires

Oregon is home to vast wilderness and timber-filled areas fill the region. Here at ArborPro, we consider ourselves pretty darn lucky to live in such a densely forested state where lush green trees grow in abundance.

Unfortunately, the very reasons we love Oregon have attracted a considerable number of new residents to the state over the last several years and is contributing to urban sprawl into our wild, wooded lands. These areas, referred to as the wildland-urban interface by fire service and agriculture officials, are at an increased risk of attracting devastating Oregon wildfires; especially during the dry, hot summer months. We’ve seen it happening this summer in particular, just take a look at wildfire statistics and current conditions

Property owners that seek out rural, woodland setting to build homes need to realize that their risk of being in the path of Oregon wildfires has increased. However, there is good news! There are a number of things that homeowners can do to help make their property defensible against such threats. In fact, trees can protect property from wildfires. 

Creating a Defensible Space with Trees

While it might seem like an oxymoron, using trees to protect property from wildfires is a great strategy. Integrating the right kind of trees on your property and planting them in ideal locations are the factors that make the strategy successful. The key to selecting the right type of trees is looking for species that naturally act as fire retardants. Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch are two examples of trees that are resistant to fire due to their thick bark and foliage that retains a high level of moisture. Avoid trees and plants that contain larger amounts of oil such as yucca and eucalyptus which are highly flammable.

The spacing of trees is another important consideration. Planted too close together, fire can easily spread from tree to tree. However, adequate space between trees creates a natural break and makes it harder for flames to spread at crown height. The general rule of thumb is to plant or thin trees ten feet apart.

Regular Maintenance Will Help Protect Property from Wildfires

Using trees to protect property from wildfires is also possible through regular maintenance and pruning. Keep limbs pruned to a height of six to ten feet and remove any dry or dead branches or foliage. This includes removing dead leaves, needles, and branches that have fallen to the ground.

ArborPro Can Help Abate Hazards

Consulting a certified arborist about concerns you have regarding the trees on your property, especially if you reside in a wildland-urban interface, is a good step forward to help protect your property from the threat of wildfire. Our expert arborists here at ArborPro offer a number of tree care services including maintenance, pruning, and removal of trees that have or could become a hazard.

For a free estimate or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 503-473-TREE. ArborPro serves Lake Oswego and neighboring cities surrounding the Portland metro area.

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