FireWise Landscaping

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

During extended periods of drought, when the risk of wildfires is highest, your plant choices and their placement in the landscape could make your home vulnerable to fire damage.

While we do want to encourage the use of shrubs and brush around the home, we don’t want to encourage it right up against the home. Especially things that are extremely flammable…

Flammable plants include yaupon holly and cedar, among others. Marks Klym coordinates the Texas Wildscapes Program. With the Texas Forest Service’s FireWise program, Klym says the Wildscapes program helps people choose less fire friendly plants.

Something that’s got a higher water content. Things that don’t tend to take fire from the ground towards the roof, because the roof is a sensitive area in most homes. Things that don’t take fire from the ground up into your window frames, which is another very sensitive area. You want to avoid our tall native grasses, because they have a tendency to dry out and become a firebox. Certainly, the other thing you can do is use that area for your hardscapes. Things like rock walls…walkways. These become a good barrier that the firs has difficulty jumping, unless you’ve got forty mile an hour winds.

Find a link to the Texas FireWise website, at, as well as a list a plants to avoid planting around the foundation of your home, as well as plants that are better to plant around the home.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

FireWise Information:
Firewise Plant-List_East Texas_Draft for Review_working.pdf

Recommended large hardwood trees:
• Black cherry
• Black gum
• Hackberry
• Honey locust
• Post Oak
• Shumard Oak
• Other Common Oaks
• Pecan
• Sweetgum
• Sycamore

Medium-sized trees could include:

• Western soapberry
• Common persimmon
• Dogwood
• Eastern redbud
• Fringe tree(Old Mans Beard)
• Hophornbeam
• Magnolia
• Ornamental maples
• Red maple
• Serviceberry
• Apple and crabapples
• Wild plum

Recommended shrubs are:
• American beautyberry
• Crapemyrtle
• Viburnums
• Elderberry
• Pyracantha
• Witch hazel

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