Since our summers have been dryer the past few years, fire safety is now more of a concern than ever. There are a few things Seattle, Snohomish and North Bend homeowners can do around their yard to reduce your risk of being involved in a forest fire.
Think ahead when planting trees
First, when planting trees, it is advised that trees be planted so that when the tree is mature, no part of the tree is within 10 feet of the house. When planting multiple trees, they should be limited to small clusters with each cluster having 15 feet of space between them. Spacing groups of trees apart create natural fire breaks, which reduce the risk of fire traveling from one tree to another.
Regular pruning is a must
As trees grow taller and their foliage becomes thicker, they will naturally start accumulating deadwood within the canopy. This deadwood is known as ladder fuel because it provides an opportunity for fire to climb up the tree. It is advised (and good practice) to have all your trees cleared of any deadwood. FYI-the live parts of most trees are somewhat burn resistance.
Branches should be far away from any burning grasses, which means lower limbs should be cut off between 6 and 10 feet above the ground. Smaller trees can have branches lower than this if pruning up to that height would remove more than a third of the canopy.
Lastly, cleaning up piles of debris on your property is advised, especially anything near exterior walls. Never let piles of leaves or trimmings from yardwork dry up and accumulate as it provides fuel for a fire.
Contact the tree experts
If you have questions about trimming trees or pruning to remove deadwood, contact the professionals at Eastside Tree Works for a no-obligation estimate. Our service area is quite large as it includes the entire Seattle metro area, Snohomish, North Bend and Eastside communities down to Kent and Auburn.