A Guide to Using Plants Resistant to Fire and Strong Winds

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By Ann Katelyn, guest writer for transients.info

Landscaping is not only meant to create an aesthetically impressive area in one’s property. While the visual allure of one’s yard is a great thing, you also need to take the natural elements into consideration. After all, what is the use of carefully designing a landscape if they can all be destroyed within a couple of hours? Thus, it’s important to understand the value of fire-resistant and wind-resistant plants for landscaping project in certain regions.

Fire-Resistant Plants

When the season is dry and warm, the chances of fire rapidly spreading across an area increases. In order to save the property or at least have enough time to evacuate, it’s a wise decision to utilize fire-resistant plants. While there are no landscaping projects that will be completely fireproof, there are plants that won’t immediately be burned down.

In general, it would be wise to heed away from plants that have oily and waxy stems since that makes them easily flammable. Other characteristics include having low-moisture foliage, fine and dry leaves, and peeling or shaggy bark. Some of the plants you should avoid if you’re working in an area prone to wildfires include eucalyptus, bamboo, Cypress trees, and junipers.

Boxwoods - A Guide to Using Plants Resistant to Fire and Strong Winds
Boxwoods

Instead of these aforementioned plants, you should use fire-resistant type ones such as boxwoods, azaleas, and even burning bushes. Furthermore, succulents such as crown of thorns, jade plants, and aloe vera are good choices since they contain a good amount of water.

Azaleas - A Guide to Using Plants Resistant to Fire and Strong Winds
Azaleas

Another fire-resistant plant that’s great for landscaping is the tickseed.

When it blooms from March until November, the flowers will give the area a shade of yellow, red, maroon, or orange. Even better is that tick-weed flowers are attractive to butterflies while its seeds are of interest to birds.

If you prefer lighter colors, both delphinium and Daphne are fire-resistant plants. The former is a perennial plant that provides blue, white, pink, and purple blossoms during March and April. They can thrive even in partial sun as long as it receives regular irrigation. It has a width ranging from 18 to 36 inches and a height of up to two feet.

Here’s a clip showing how to grow delphinium: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geeHQWV0ELU

On the other hand, the Daphne plant can grow up to five feet in height while also producing white and pink flowers during May and June. Daphne flowers are incredibly fragrant and are an easy way to attract butterflies to one’s lawn. Similar to delphinium, Daphne plants grow well in partial sun.

Wind-Resistant Plants

Wind isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but strong winds can quickly ruin the landscape. If a plant is too flimsy in the presence of strong winds, it will sway a lot and have its roots pulled around. Constantly having the roots tugged will ruin their ability to be firmly established in the soil. Once this happens, the plant won’t be able to effectively absorb water.

Furthermore, strong winds can lower the temperature around the plants and hamper their growth rate. If that isn’t bad enough, the wind can carry pathogens with them. Combined with rain, spores can reach healthy plants in the landscape and affect their health and size.

Oak Trees - A Guide to Using Plants Resistant to Fire and Strong Winds
Oak Trees

One important step in assuring that your landscape survives an incoming windstorm is to apply windbreaks or windscreens. This refers to growing plants and trees in areas that will enable them to significantly decrease the wind speed. Thus, windbreaks help protect not only the lawn but also the whole property. Ideally, they will prevent the need to cut down tall yet flimsy trees using  a strong power saw whenever a hurricane or windstorm is about to arrive. Sometimes, a professional chainsaw is the best choice which can be adapted for a street with a lot of old trees.

Windscreen plants are composed of a variety of deciduous and evergreen plants having low crowns. One commonly utilized tree is the sand live oak since it is highly resistant to strong winds. It is fairly small or medium in size and is also characterized by its thick bark and veined, leathery leaves.

If it isn’t available in your area or you’re looking for alternatives, you can try growing sabal palm, bald cypress, and the beautiful crape myrtle tree. All of these choices are resistant to strong winds, so it’s less likely you’ll be picking up fallen branches and twigs. In contrast, you must avoid using sand pine, laurel oak, and water oak trees since they barely have any resistance to strong winds.

We hope that this short guide helped you in providing a landscape that’s not only pretty but also prepared for harsh natural forces such as wildfires and strong winds. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.

 

About the Author
I’m Ann, I have dedicated most of my life in gardening. This is a subject I enjoy the most. Since then, I committed to developing my website to be the best guidance when it comes to taking care of flowers and plants. I am trying my best to be well-versed with plants found in desert areas, tropics or Mediterranean. I still need to be knowledgeable about so many kinds of botanical life. https://twitter.com/231_ann

 

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1 Comment on "A Guide to Using Plants Resistant to Fire and Strong Winds"

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Lila

Aaah, this post is like a balm for my soul:-D
It reminds me of the expression/question "When is the best time to plant a tree? A lifetime ago."… connected to the wisdom of carefully selecting which tree/plant/shrub is best suited to the environment we are creating<3
The process of considering which plant is best is full of joy-filled lessons of its own.

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