California's risk of wildfires is almost year round now. An important step property owners can take is to be proactive with their landscape and trees. Here’s what you can do seasonally to reduce your risk of wildfire.
Check property for dead trees, especially those infested with bark beetles, and remove those trees.
Clear dense undergrowth.
Trim up trees for vertical clearance as part of your home’s defensible space.
If you’re planting trees this spring, plan ahead now and plant locally native trees.
Prepare defensible space.
Remove any dead and bark beetle-infested trees.
Bark beetles are most active now and in summer—be careful not to damage remaining trees as fresh wood attracts beetles.
If possible, remove freshly cut wood. Otherwise, cover, lop or chip infested wood—and do not place near healthy trees.
Following an extended period of little to no rain, sparingly water high-value trees.
Now is the time to plant new trees, as long as irrigation is available.
Also consider planting fire resistant ground cover like ice plant and succulents.
Follow spring guidelines as beetles are very active in summer as well.
Be especially careful with power tools—one spark can start a wildfire. If planting trees in fall, plan ahead now and plant locally native trees.
If planting trees, wait until the weather cools and fall rains have increased soil moisture.
Now is one of the best times to remove dead and dying trees, and dense undergrowth.
Water high-value trees only if significantly less than average rainfall this season; otherwise, do not water.
New trees will need extra water until their roots are established.
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