Normally, most Grass Valley residents think of tree pruning as common property maintenance that ensures the health and beauty of their trees. This is true because regular pruning helps prolong the life of a tree by minimizing the risk of dead or weak branches maintaining optimal growth.
However, tree pruning can also help protect your home and property by creating a defensible space against wildfire. Left ignored, unmaintained trees increase the potential for the spread of fire due to low lying branches and excessive yard waste like leaves, bark, and sticks. That’s why Westcoast Tree Experts would like to provide you with the following guide to Grass Valley tree pruning and fire abatement services.
Identifying Problem Areas
A good start to protecting your home is identifying problem areas and determining which trees on your property are most susceptible to a wildfire. Signs to look out for include:
- Excessive leaf loss or bare branches
- Peeling or missing bark
- Dry, brittle limbs
- Rot or fungus growth at the base of a tree
Additionally, dead or dying trees are especially hazardous and should be removed immediately. The ISA certified arborist at Westcoast Tree Experts will help you to identify and address potential wildfire hazards.
Ideal Tree Spacing
Vertical Spacing: Is the removal of ladder fuels – branches or vegetation that create a bridge between the ground and the top of a tree. At Westcoast Tree Experts, we recommend the removal of all tree branches from at least six feet from the ground for lone trees and even more for trees located near shrubs, bushes, or nearby trees.
Horizontal Spacing: Is the removal of branches to create a ten-foot horizontal distance between trees and nearby structures like a house, garage, or shed.
This distance should also be increased with trees located on a slope as follows:
- Flat or Mild Slope: 10 feet
- Mild or Moderate Slope: 20 feet
- Moderate or Steep Slope: 30 feet
The general idea of proper tree spacing is to create a clear space free of debris to help slow and prevent the spread of potential wildfire on your property.
Defensible Space: In California, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has put into place recommended guidelines to help protect your home and property against wildfire. They advocate creating a cleared space that is divided into two zones.
Zone 1 – 30 feet from structures
- Trim tree branches at least 10 feet away from nearby trees and structures.
- Remove all dry or dead vegetation
- Provide clear space between trees, bushes, and buildings.
Zone 2 – 30 to 100 feet from structures
- Create horizontal spacing between trees and bushes
- Create vertical spacing between trees and ground
- Keep grass below the maximum height of four inches.
Simply put, fire needs fuel in order to burn. Dry or dead vegetation on your property is potential fuel that will allow a fire to burn and spread from one location to another. For additional information about creating a defensible space, visit the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection by clicking here.
Grass Valley Tree Pruning
With years of experience under our belts, the experts at Westcoast Tree Experts specialize in tree pruning and fire abatement services. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation quote by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733. Our certified arborist will walk your property and answer any questions you may have about maintaining your trees and preventing the spread of potential wildfires.