Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Plan now for fire-safe landscaping  – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Fire safety has grown exponentially in importance to California residents in recent years. Here in Santa Cruz County, we have had firsthand experience of the impact forest fires can have on the community. Fire safety is a year-round effort, and during these winter months you can take various measures to proactively address future potential fire hazards in your landscape. This is a friendly reminder to review your property.

Planning ahead is one of the most important steps in the fight against fire safety for your home and it is never too early to prepare for it. Now that weeds are developing and growing, they make for ideal kindling at the time of the dry season. Grass meadows and natural areas bordering houses and buildings should be mowed regularly during the growing season. It is important to pay attention to these types of areas and make plans now to keep them mowed this fire season. Santa Cruz has gotten extreme weather this winter, with a mix of rain, wind and sun we should all prepare for another difficult fire season.

If you want to hire a contractor to help you maintain your fire safety, now is the time to start looking for your team. Many of the tree care companies and mowing companies currently have large residues. If you wait until you need them, it might be too late. Your local firefighter can help you get information on how to prepare your home and property for the fire season. Much of the work can be done now and shouldn’t be postponed until fire season begins.

It’s easy to neglect landscaping in cold and wet weather, but don’t let that stop you from staying in the defensible space on your property. Today, clean up dead brushes and drying piles before the warm weather comes upon us. See if you can create a 30-foot buffer with very small plants or trees around your home to access that defensible space. For more information on creating defensible space in your property, please visit the Cal Fire website or the previous lesson on Fire Safety.

The CLCA (California Landscape Contractors Association) brought together a group of fire protection personnel for a webinar last Saturday. The event was attended by local contractors, firefighters, brokers and educational leaders who discussed fire prevention techniques and updates for the 2021 season. You can find a recording of the webinar on YouTube at: youtube.com/watch?v=IYkQrTro8ng&feature=youtu.be.

It is our responsibility as residents to protect our homes and the community from potential fire hazards, and you can never be too prepared. Stay diligent with your property and plan these steps ahead!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named “Business of the Year 2020” by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofits across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

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