Don’t let your home look scary. There are a lot of home and yard cleaning chores that you can do to be better prepared before next year’s wildfire season as the weather cools down. As Halloween approaches remember the late fall season is the perfect time of year to get in some trimming of deciduous bushes and trees when you can see the branches. As the leaves fall and this vegetation become dormant before winter you can see more clearly where tree limbs can be pruned away from overhanging the chimney and home. You can also get a better picture of where some bushes and perennial vegetation needs to be thinned out.
This is also a good time of year to trim when vegetation is dormant. When you trim take care to prune properly so that you do not cause damage to trees and shrubs which could result in the plant’s infestation by a fungus, or parasitic insect. An Article on Today’s homeowner gives you some great information about how to properly trim a tree.
For example when you trim branches take care not to damage the bark of the tree with a chain saw. If you are not careful and do excessive damage to the bark you can kill the tree by “girdling” it or preventing it from getting water and nutrients from the soil. It is also important to trim branches as close to the branch collar as possible so that the tree or bush can heal itself. Cutting it too close to the trunk of the tree or too far away can cause the tree or bush to heal improperly. For more information about how to properly care for a tree it is a good idea to speak to a certified arborist.
The other great fall project is cleaning up all of that trash that you see around the house. If you think you may use it someday, so it is not trash but one of those "human treasures" that you have to hang onto make sure that it is stored in a shed or garage and not around the outside of the home or under the deck or breezeway. The first 5 feet around your home and other outbuildings near the home should be clean and free of easily ignitable materials.
Have a wonderful fall season and don’t be haunted by thoughts of what you should do to make your home safer in the event of a wildfire. You can easily embrace some changes to make your home safer not scarier as we celebrate a Year of Living Less Dangerously From Wildfire. To assist in this effort, ISA developed the public education website www.TreesAreGood.org to provide tree care information and tools for finding a qualified tree care professional within a local community.