Think Lean, Clean and Green

7 Think "Lean, Clean, and Green"

Ground cover and “hardscaping”
can work together.
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Part of the process of defensible space planning is creating a new consciousness about vegetation management and how the decisions you make now will influence your overall defensible space planning. The following “Lean, Clean and Green” checklist should be revisited periodically as part of your overall vegetation management plan.

Green lawns are natural fire breaks when maintained.
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Emphasize the use of low-growing herbaceous (non-woody) plants that are kept green during the fire season, through irrigation if necessary. Herbaceous plants include lawn, clover, varieties of ground cover, bedding plants, bulbs, perennial flowers, and conservation grasses.

Another example of “hardscaping”.
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Emphasize the use of mulches, and "hardscaping" such as rock and non-combustible hard surfaces such as concrete sidewalks, brick patios and asphalt driveways.

Ornamental deciduous trees can have
a place in your landscape plan.
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Deciduous (plants that shed their foliage) ornamental trees and shrubs are acceptable if they are kept green and free of dead plant material. When it comes to deciduous scrubs, the shorter the better

Pampas grass is to be avoided whenever possible.
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Minimize the use of ornamental coniferous (evergreen) shrubs such as juniper and manzanita. Also minimize the use of tall exotic grasses such as pampas grass.

If you do retain coniferous shrubs and trees, make sure they are healthy and free from dead wood; they are pruned regularly to reduce the amount of fuel and height; and ladder fuels are removed.

Fire safety requires that pines be
pruned and dead material removed.
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You need to be aware of local regulations about removing substantial amounts of vegetation near streams or creeks and where erosion can become a factor. If in doubt, check with your county agriculture department, state forestry office and Department of Fish and Game. Most landscape contractors and tree services are also knowledgeable about local regulations.

Vegetation management near streams is
subject to special regulations.
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Napa Firewise

  To empower the citizens of Napa County with the information, knowledge, and support they need to survive a wildfire.