Why Fire Retardant Trees Are a Welcome Addition to Properties in Bushfire Prone Areas

burnt house

Remains of a house after a bushfire on February 3, 2009 in Boolarra

Some people who have had the harrowing experience of seeing their homes burn down will tell you that they would have preferred if their homes were robbed instead. After all, you can easily buy things to replace the ones stolen from you — a much better and simpler alternative to slowly rebuilding your life from nothing after a fire.

A prudent homeowner knows that there are several fire hazards that can be found inside his home. As such, he takes the appropriate measures to eliminate these or minimize the possibility of these causing fires.

However, if you live in an area that is prone to bush-fire, you have to work doubly hard. Apart from surveying the interior of your home, your task will extend to the perimeter of your property. Specifically, you will need to determine which trees and shrubs are flammable.

But how exactly can you ascertain which ones are flammable? The simplest way to do that is to break off a twig from each type of shrub and tree planted on your property, especially those that are closest to your house. After that, you will need to set fire to the twigs. Trees like pines, eucalyptus and Cyprus, and native trees like marri and jarrah, have twigs that will instantly catch fire or even explode.

Now that you have identified which trees easily catch fire, the next order of business is removing these from your property or relocating these to an area that is a greater distance away from the house.

However, if you want to boost your home’s protection against bush-fires, you can also consider planting fire retardant trees. In fact, a lot of experts recommend planting these trees closest to your home as these can slow down fires or even cool them.

This type of tree can act as a barrier between your home and bush-fires by preventing embers from getting into your home. Many fires that are attributed to bush-fires can spread due to fine embers getting into the home.

double rows

Double Rows

These trees also contain enough moisture in their leaves which are sufficient for preventing the spread of fires.

Among the best species of trees to plant are fruit and deciduous trees. Ideally, you should plant these in double rows around your home.

However, planting fire retardant trees is just one part of the equation. The other part is investing ample time and effort toward the maintenance of your property. In particular, you should make it a point to remove as much leaf litter as you possibly can on a regular basis. When leaf litter accumulates on your property, you are providing fuel for bush-fires. If you live in a bush-fire prone area, you might also want to trade your wood-chip mulch for gravel.