The defensible space is an area on your property that separates your home from the wilderness and acts as the last line of defense against wildfires. The U.S. Fire Administration has confirmed that in the last few years, well-planned defensible spaces have been credited with saving dozens of homes from Colorado wildfires.
Some defensible spaces are barren, wide-open spaces void of any vegetation or aesthetic qualities. However, most people want their yard to enhance their property. They want a landscape with flowers, shrubs and trees that capture the natural beauty of Colorado while at the same time offering a buffer against wildfires.
The good news is that it is possible to achieve an attractive, easy-to-maintain and effective defensible space. It just requires a thoughtful landscape design with the right fire-safe plants.
Wildflowers native to Colorado like columbine, sage, penstemon, pink bergamot, scarlet gilia and showy daisy are always great for creating colorful defensible spaces.
Low-growing, non-resinous shrubs like golden currant, the mountain-mahogany fruit and the twinberry fruit can be fire-safe when planted properly. Simply make sure to leave plenty of space between clumps of shrubs and do not to plant them near trees.
Due to the state’s high elevation and extreme temperature swings, there are only a few trees that work well for defensible spaces. Aspen and narrow-leaf cottonwood are relatively fire-resistant and grow well in areas with enough moisture. If planted correctly, evergreens can also be used as long as they are not planted near any building structures and have plenty of space between them.
As always, the professional landscapers at Lifescape in Colorado can help you design a yard that is not only beautiful but also protects your home from wildfires. We can even assist you in maintaining your Colorado landscape from season to season. Contact Lifescape to learn more.