Practice Proper Wildfire Safety with this Spring Tree Checklist

By now, California residents are all too familiar with the dangers of wildfires. That is why our experts at Vintage Tree Care are here to help year-round. With proper seasonal tree maintenance, you can help reduce the risk of wildfires and maintain a defensible space around your Sonoma County property. 

Spring Tree Checklist For Wildfire Safety:

  1. Inspect Your Trees for Winter Damage
  2. Check for Signs of Pests and Disease
  3. Prune Your Trees to Reduce Risk
  4. Have Problematic Trees Removed from Your Property
  5. Plant a Defensible Space Around Your Home This Spring
infographic of spring tree check list to reduce wildfire risk

Read on to learn how to check these five things off your list this spring to help ensure the trees around your home or business are healthy and pose the least amount of fire risk.

1.  Inspect Your Trees for Winter Damage

In Sonoma County, we see issues that arise with temperature fluctuations that are common this time of year. If the trees on your property suffered some sort of damage over the winter, identifying it now can help reduce the risk of fire on your property.

Winter Sunscald Damage on Trees

When your tree bark is then to intense direct sunlight, it can suffer from sunscald. While most mature trees will not perish from sunscald, your trees will show visible scarring and should be continued to be monitored throughout the year. The effects are permanent and can compromise the tree’s health if it is put under further distress. Unhealthy or compromised trees shed dry leaves and branches, amplifying the dangers of the environment in the event of a wildfire.

2. Check for Signs of Pests and Disease

It is essential to the long term health of the trees on your property and wildfire prevention to routinely check for signs of disease or pests. If a tree on your property is afflicted with a disease or pest infestation, spotting it early can save the tree and prevent further spread of the issue.

Signs of Pests or Disease in Trees:

  • Leaves: producing fewer leaves, losing leaves faster, abnormal marks on leaves
  • Trunk: cracks, missing layers, holes, abnormal marks or growth
  • Branches: thinning, discoloration, brittle, limb drop

Pests and diseases can spread very quickly, putting acres of trees and shrubs at risk of dying and increasing the dangers should a wildfire break out. Our team at Vintage Tree Care is expertly trained at spotting signs of distress that could compromise the health of your trees and the safety of your property.

3. Prune Your Trees to Reduce Risk

Regularly pruning your trees will help maintain their overall well being while also minimizing safety concerns on your property. Dead and dying branches shed at a faster rate, scattering dead leaves and sticks all over your property. This is an extremely dangerous environment that will fuel a wildfire to spread faster.

A proper pruning schedule will eliminate damaged branches allowing healthy foliage to take its place. Removing excess branches and foliage will also reduce unnecessary strain on your trees and result in stronger growth. Our professional arborists at Vintage Tree Care offer expert pruning and care to help ensure your property remains safe and a low fire risk, year-round. 

4. Have Problematic Trees Removed from Your Property

Having dead or problematic trees removed from your home or property is necessary to keep your landscape safe and looking beautiful. Dead and problematic trees pose a severe fire threat that can allow wildfires to spread out of control more rapidly.  

Proper tree removal can help reduce the risk of fire or other hazards around your property, and help ensure your other trees and shrubs remain healthy.

Proper Tree Removal Requires Expert Care

To reduce the risk of wildfires, dead and sometimes dying trees need to be removed from your property by a licensed professional. All of our certified arborists at Vintage Tree Care are licensed and have years of full-time experience working in the professional tree care industry.

5. Plant a Defensible Space Around Your Home

Spring is a great time of year to plant new trees and shrubs on your property. To reduce the risk of wildfire, learn about your property’s defensible space zones. In the event of a wildfire, these zones help protect your home from fire damage and slow or stop the spread of fires. This buffer will also provide our first responders with a safe space to defend your property.

Planting and maintaining trees on your property according to the defensible space guidelines provided by Cal Fire can create a safer environment for everyone.

informational graphic how to protect your home from wildfires

Planting a Defensible Space in Zone 1:

  • This zone is 30ft around your home.
  • Remember to limit the number of new trees and shrubs you plant in Zone 1 this spring. 
  • Plan on always maintaining all foliage in this zone to remain a minimum of ten feet away from your home, structures, or other plants.

Planting a Defensible Space in Zone 2:

  • This zone is 30 – 100ft around your home.
  • Create horizontal spacing between the trees, bushes, and shrubs you plant in this zone.
  • Plan on creating vertical spacing between trees and the ground when planting in Zone 2 this spring.

Minimize Fire Risk by Working with the Professionals at Vintage Tree Care

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For over 14 years Vintage Tree Care has been providing Sonoma County home and business owners with expert tree care. Contact our team today for a property risk assessment or to request a free quote. Our skilled arborists are here to help ensure the health of your trees and the safety of your Sonoma County property for years to come.