Is Scrub Oak Around My House A Fire Danger?

In Property Management by Maxine C. Herrera

scrub oak fire mitigation home property fire prevention safety

Scrub oak is the common name for several species of oak trees, most of them relatively small and resembling shrubs more than trees. Scrub oaks form thickets rather than forests and they are very hardy species that can endure almost any weather and almost any temperature. The scrub oak family includes varieties that prefer hot climates, such as the California scrub oak that is today endangered and can grow to a maximum height of 8 feet as well as varieties that love mountain regions, such as the Rocky Mountain scrub oak that can reach the height of around 30 feet.

Safety-Related Features of Scrub Oaks

One of the most common concern related to scrub oaks is that they increase the risk of fires around the house. As smaller trees can catch fire more easily because their leaves and branches are closer to common fire sources and they tend to develop thickets that increase the risk of fires and given the fact that scrub oaks have leaves that become dry easier than other tree leaves, scrub oaks pose a slightly higher fire danger than other tree varieties.

However, that risk can be reduced to the minimum with proper tree maintenance. The precaution measures that homeowners need to implement to prevent their scrub oaks from catching fire are the same as in the case of any other tree and thicket: the oak trees needs to be inspected one by one regularly to check for dry leaves and branches and the dead parts need to be pruned. Any dry twigs, branches and limbs need to be removed from the area around the tree right after the trimming is complete to restore the cleanliness as well as the safety of the yard.

The easiest way to manage your scrub oak thicket is to hire a tree company to maintain the vegetation for you. Your tree care team will perform a detailed, professional fire mitigation Parker CO inspection of your oaks and of the area surrounding them and they will professionally perform the trimming and the removal of the waste wood and debris generated.

Other Features of Scrub Oaks

Scrub oaks are very resistant, hardy species that can survive anything from harsh winters and hot summers to wildfires – in fact, scrub oaks are usually the first to spring up after a fire. Scrub oaks prefer alkaline soil on rocky hillsides, where they can grow into thickets without having much competition from other plant varieties. They tolerate drought very well, moreover, they love dryness so much that they can seriously suffer during rainy periods.

Scrub oaks are home to many critters, including squirrels, chipmunks and they also attract many species, such as deer.

Scrub oaks grow quickly and they can also spread very quickly, either multiplying by means of the acorns that they produce in fall or through the roots that spread and sprout to form new trees as well. The tree’s ability to grow and to spread so quickly increases the amount of maintenance necessary for keeping the thickets attractive and safe around the home.