Dan’s Garden: Fire Resistant Planting

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MEDFORD, Ore. — It is hot. The fire danger is up. People really need to be aware of how their landscape could contribute to the fuel load of a fire if an ember blew over.

Really the best way to think about that is to actually think about envisioning an ember flying in from a nearby fire and where it would actually burn. Avoid plants like the juniper. There’s a lot of dry material that it could create huge flame lengths and connect right to your house or building.

Conifers aren’t all bad, it’s really about where you put them. It’s not good to have conifers right next to your building or structure, but the conifers across the street are just fine for privacy, where you can see you’ve got the road there to buffer it and there not right up there next to your structure, or your gas tank, or your woodpile, so that’s the difference is about placement.

Great alternatives to the juniper are the Japanese maple and the nandina. Fire resistant doesn’t mean fire proof but it can increase our chances of saving our home from wildfires embers blowing in.