Wildfires can quickly tear through your landscaping, scorching everything in the path of the flames. Fortunately, there are landscaping tricks to help protect your home if you live in an at-risk fire area. Proper tree trimming is one of those tricks that can be implemented. 

1. Remove Structural Overhangs

Any tree branch that overhangs your home, garage, or outbuildings runs the risk of spreading flames to the building. For this reason, it is important to have all overhanging branches pruned back every spring. Wildfire safety codes may vary by jurisdiction, but the basic goal should be to have no branches overhanging the roof at all.

2. Cut Out Fuel Wood

Dead, damaged, and diseased branches provide dry tinder for a quick-moving wildfire. A healthy tree can sometimes survive a hot, fast blaze without igniting, but add in dry wood, and the tree will often burn. Trimming in late winter or spring will remove most of this dead wood, but you may need to trim a second trim after the tree begins to leaf out to make sure any other damaged branches are removed. 

3. Reduce Ground Contact

Laddering refers to fire along the ground that spreads up into a tree's crown because of branch contact with the ground. Drooping branches are the main cause of laddering, which can make a controllable ground burn turn into a raging forest fire. Tree branches should have healthy crotch angles that cause the branches to angle upward. All drooping branches should be trimmed out for most species. Naturally drooping species, like weeping willows, should be trimmed so that the branches are a few feet above the ground.

4. Prevent Tree-to-Tree Contact

A single tree burning is a hazard, but a controllable hazard. A line of trees burning near your home can quickly become a devastating wildfire. Trees should be trimmed so that the branches of one tree do not overlap into the space of another tree. This cuts down on the chances of the fire jumping from one tree to the next uncontrollably.

5. Create a Defensible Space

Finally, your home needs a defensible space. The size of this space is usually dictated by the local fire codes, but if not, then aiming for 10 feet or more between the outermost spread of trees and shrubs and the walls of your home should be the minimum. Your trimming service can cut back overgrown trees and hedges to maintain this space.

Contact a local company if you want tree trimming services for fire saafety.