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Fire-Smart Plants

Choosing landscaping plants in a fire-prone environment.

We provide a curated list of plants favorable to Marin’s climate and soils. Considerations like ease of maintenance, lack of volatile oils, drought tolerance, and non-invasive status, are also part of the selection process.


This list is not exhaustive: other online resources are available to help you select additional species. Cal Poly’s and CAL FIRE’s SelecTree tool includes 178 fire-resistant tree species for Marin’s climate zones (Sunset Zones 15, 16, 17).

  • These plants tend to share characteristics of plants that are preferred in a fire-prone environment.
  • Choose natives and/or pollinator-friendly plants where appropriate.
  • Choose hedge plants that share these characteristics for screening.
  • Plant hardwood trees from this list that are less likely to ignite than conifers like pine or cypress.
  • Be aware of the potential for leaf and needle litter in the fall.
  • Maintenance is the most important factor when maintaining landscaping plants in a fire-prone environment. There are no “fire-proof” plants. All plants must be maintained in good health, properly irrigated, and free of dead material, dry twigs, or fallen leaves and needles.
  • Use proper spacing between plants to slow the spread of fire. More space is required on slopes.
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