Landscape trees can be a major danger if you live in an area where forest or wild fires are a threat. Although you don't have to get rid off all of your trees, you do need to know how to safely maintain them to avoid danger. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Placement Is Everything
Chances are if you live in an area with high fire danger, there are codes in place to help you landscape safely. Check these carefully and make sure you don't have any trees or woody shrubs growing in the danger zone close to your home. If you do, these will need to be removed or moved further out from the house.
Even if there are no codes in place, make sure that trees are placed far enough apart so that they can't easily set each other on fire, and that none are so close that they're touching the house. Fires can spread quickly in wind, so the trees need to be set far enough apart so they don't touch any other structures or trees during a heavy wind storm.
Tip #2: Remove All Dead Wood
A dead tree is just tinder waiting to be set alight in a fire. All standing and fallen dead wood that is near your home or outbuildings must be removed promptly. This also includes dead wood in an otherwise living tree. Regular pruning and trimming to remove dead and dying branches, as well as to help control tree canopy size, is a must to avoid fire dangers.
Wood in the ground, like old tree stumps, should also be removed. When a stump catches fire, the embers can spread underground via the root system, which allows fire to travel in a manner that you can't easily detect or extinguish. You can have these stumps chemically killed, then dig them out, or you can grind them.
Tip #3: Keep a Clean Yard
The detritus from trees in your landscape is another fire danger. Fallen leaves, twigs, needles, and cones can all fuel a fire. Make a habit of regular raking and cleaning up. If you rake leaves into piles to compost, do so well away from the house.
Also, make sure there are no brush piles near your home. If your property is fenced, placing compost or brush piles just outside the fence provides a barrier to flying embers in case the pile were to catch fire.
For more help, contact a tree removal expert in your area.