Australia is a beautiful place to live and we’re so blessed to have our unique flora and fauna. Unfortunately we’re also prone to bushfire, which we’ve seen has catastrophic and devastating affects.
We wish to share with you a fantastic study compiled by a good friend of Austraflora, Neil Marriott, based on the experiences of Australian Plant Society Victoria Members, many of whom have properties in fire-prone areas which have been affected by bushfires.
READ: Fire Resistant and Retardant Plants
One of our plants is particularly useful in bushfire areas – Atriplex Silver Holly (pictured)
This plant is tolerant particularly of coastal areas, as well as drought, flooding and frost. You can plant in most soils, but best grown in a well-drained position that is mostly sunny. Growing just 1.5m x 1m, its upright, small and compact habit make it a valuable small feature and foliage contrast plant. It can also be mass planted, particularly as a dense, fire proof hedge – a fire protective barrier for homes and gardens.
Other resistant/retardant plants include: Myoporum and Scaevola. It’s good to know that you can still have your much-loved natives, and provide food and shelter for wildlife.
Other jobs you can do in your garden to limit your risk include:
- Raking any leaves, stick and debris.
- Cleaning your gutters.
- Moving firewood away from your house.
- Pruning back overhanging branches/bark.
Use a good quality tree pruner to cut back any tree branches which may be close to your home. You can also prune lower branches of shrubs to separate from any scrub underneath. We particularly like the Fiskars range of tree pruners as they are hard-wearing, reliable, comfortable and allow you to reach the top of trees and dense bushes without needing a ladder, or at ground level without bending or kneeling.
Always be guided by the CFA if you’re unsure. This CFA guide contains some great information for property preparation: Your Guide To Property Preparation
Keep lawns between 5cm and 10cm. This means they are short enough to minimise fuel for fire but they can retain moisture.
Please feel free to contact our team at Austraflora if you ever need any gardening advice before or after bushfire. We are always happy to help wherever we can.
Our hearts go out to those who are and continue to be affected by the bushfires. Our deepest thanks to our firefighters, volunteers and those involved in relief and recovery.