Trees can help guard homes, Ringwood expert says

Trees can help guard homes, Ringwood expert says

03 September 2010

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Australia — A Ringwood tree consultant says lopping down trees is not the only solution to protecting houses from bushfires.

Stephen Frank, managing director of Ringwood arboriculture consultants Tree Logic, said certain trees, if used as part of a complete fire planning system, could help guard houses.

Mr Frank said people directly affected from bushfires were often concerned about replanting trees next to buildings.

But he said planting fire-retardant trees, such as the magenta brush cherry, could add beauty to gardens while helping to shield threatened houses.

“Trees with the best fire-retardant properties are those which have soft leaves with a high moisture content, smooth and non-peeling barks, and low volatility oils in their foliage,” Mr Frank said.

“This includes the majority of deciduous trees and some evergreens from the sub-tropics and rainforests.”

But Mr Frank warned that planting such trees would not guarantee safety in a bushfire.

“All plants, whether they are exotic or Australian, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat,” he said.

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