8 Fire Wise plant spacing suggestions
Proper placement or replacement of plants is important for any defensible space plan. Through proper plant selection, placement and maintenance, we can diminish the possibility of ignition, lower fire intensity, and reduce how quickly a fire spreads, increasing a home’s survivability.
Recommend separation distances for shrubs:
For areas with dense brush, the recommended separation distance is dependent upon shrub height and steepness of slope.
Note: Separation distances are measured between canopies (outermost branches) and not between trunks.
For example: if your home is located on a 10% slope and the brush is four feet tall, the separation distance would be two times the shrub height or eight feet. The recommended separation distance can be accomplished by removing plants or through pruning that reduces the diameter or height of shrubs (shorter height means less separation is needed.)
Recommended separation distance between tree canopies:
For forested areas, the recommended amount of separation between tree canopies is determined by steepness of slope. If your house is situated on a 30% slope, the separation of tree canopies within your defensible space should be 20 feet. Creating separation between tree canopies can be accomplished through tree removal. Another option is to have a continuous canopy of overstory trees. This approach requires having no understory and adequate pruning of trees.