Fire Resistant Plants

Fire Safe PlantsChoosing Fire-Resistant Plants

  • Use this list as a reference for fire resistant plants suitable for Marin's climate and soils.
  • There are no “fire-proof” plants!  Even the most resistant plants must be maintained in good health, properly irrigated, and free of dead material, dry twigs, or fallen leaves and needles.
  • Select fire-resistant hedge plants for screening, which may help catch wind-blown embers if properly spaced and maintained.
  • Plant hardwood trees from this list that are less flammable than conifers like pine and fir.
  • Use proper spacing between plants to slow the spread of fire.  More space is required on slopes.

 

Aeonium

Aeonium

Aeonium spp.
  • Aeonium
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Aeonium

African Iris

African Iris

Dietes bicolor
  • African Iris
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • African Iris

  • African Sumac
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • African Sumac

Agave

Agave

Agave spp.
  • Agave
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Agave

Aloe

Aloe

Aloe spp.
  • Aloe
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Alpine Cinquefoil

Alpine Cinquefoil

Potentilla neumanniana
  • Alpine Cinquefoil
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Alpine Cinquefoil

Amur Maple

Acer ginnala

Amur maple may be considered invasive in some areas of the US, however it is drought tolerant, fire-resistant, and can help create an exceptional privacy screen and hedge. Thanks to a height of 20 to 30 feet and their ability to offer ample shade, Amur maple trees (Acer ginnala) function well as hedges in the home landscape. With clusters of tiny yet aromatic flowers and green foliage that turns red during the fall, Amur maples make a strong impact. Though these deciduous hedges boast a reputation for ease of maintenance and a low susceptibility to problems, they still require consistent daily care for continued health. Amur maple hedges should be planted in full sun to partial shade in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 to 8 for best growth.

  • Amur Maple
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Angel's Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet

Brugmansia spp.
  • Angel's Trumpet
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Angel's Trumpet

Apple

Malus spp.
  • Apple
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Ash

Ash

Fraxinus spp.

Fraxinus (ash) species recommended for Marin:

Fraxinus dipetalaCALIFORNIA ASH

Fraxinus dipetala - photo

  • Utility friendly tree.

    Foothill Ash is a commonly occurring native riparian habitat shrub or small tree. It is sometimes used as a garden tree, and when the foliage canopy is pruned up to expose the trunks, it makes an attractive multi-trunk tree or garden specimen. The showy flower clusters in late spring make it useful as a flowering accent tree in a native garden setting. Its height rarely exceeds 25'.

    Native to California.

    Trees may be referred to as male or female.

    Fraxinus dipetala in Lake County is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 32 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 39 inches and a crown spread of 34 feet.

Fraxinus latifoliaOREGON ASH

Fraxinus latifolia - photo

  • Riparian species.

    Native to California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Trees may be referred to as male or female.

    Fraxinus latifolia in Scicon is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 76 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 120 inches and a crown spread of 46 feet.

Fraxinus ornusFLOWERING ASH

Fraxinus ornus - photo

  • Smog tolerant. Prolific seed producer, showy white flowers. Requires a moderate amount of water. Hardy to 0 degrees F.

    Has fragrant Flower.

    Native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor.

    Trees may be referred to as male or female.

  • Ash
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes
  • Ash

Barberry

Berberis spp.
  • Barberry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Beach Aster

Beach Aster

Erigeron glaucus
  • Beach Aster
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes
  • Beach Aster

Beach Strawberry

Beach Strawberry

Fragaria chiloensis
  • Beach Strawberry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes
  • Beach Strawberry

Beard Tongue

Beard Tongue

Penstemon spp.
  • Beard Tongue
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native:
  • Beard Tongue

Beech

Beech

Fagus spp.
  • Beech
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Beech

Bergenia

Bergenia spp.
  • Bergenia
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia reginae
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Blue chalksticks

Senecio serpens, mandralisce, vitalis
  • Blue chalksticks
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium bellum
  • Blue-eyed Grass
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Blue-Eyed Grasses

Sisyrinchium spp.
  • Blue-Eyed Grasses
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum
  • Blueberry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Blueberry

Vaccinium spp.
  • Blueberry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Boxwood

Buxus spp
  • Boxwood
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Brush of Heaven

Coleonema pulchellum
  • Brush of Heaven
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Buckthorn

Rhamnus spp.
  • Buckthorn
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Anemone

Carpenteria californica
  • Bush Anemone
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Ice Plant

Lampranthus spp.
  • Bush Ice Plant
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Bush Morning Glory

Convulvus cneorum
  • Bush Morning Glory
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Buttercup

Ranunculus californica
  • Buttercup
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

California Fuchsia

Zauschneria californica
  • California Fuchsia
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

California Poppy

Eschscholzia spp.
  • California Poppy
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

Camelia

Camellia spp.
  • Camelia
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Cape Honeysuckle

Tecomaria capensis
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Cape Plumbago

Plumbago auriculata
  • Cape Plumbago
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Carob

Ceratonia siliqua
  • Carob
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Carob

Ceratonia siliqua
  • Carob
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carolina Laurel Cherry

Prunus caroliniana

General Notes

Carolina Laurel Cherry is grown as an evergreen shrub or tree standard, favored for its shiny green foliage. However, the flower and fruit litter is a problem in paved areas, and it may reseed unwantedly. It withstands heat, dryness and wind, and is quite durable once established. Variety Compacta generally grows 8-10' tall. It may require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain its height below 25'.

Has fragrant Flower.

Native to Southeastern United States.

Family: Rosaceae

Additional Common Names

CAROLINA LAUREL CHERRY, CHERRY LAUREL

Tree Characteristics

Compact and Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 20 - 30 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity 50 to 150 years.

Leaves Lanceolate to Oblong, Glossy Medium Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Fragrant White. Flowers in Spring or Winter. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Black Drupe, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Winter, Spring or Summer.

Bark Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Flowers and Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 5 - 24.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Oak Root Fungus. Susceptible to Scales, Fire Blight, Root Rot, Rust, Gummosis and Verticillium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Medium.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Allergy and Poisonous Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Fire Resistance is Favorable.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Not Deer Palatable.

Special Uses & Values

Screen.

Hedged or Topiary.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Prunus caroliniana Tree Record." 1995-2017. May 4, 2017.
http://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/prunus-caroliniana

  • Carolina Laurel Cherry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No
  • Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carpet Bugle

Ajuga reptans
  • Carpet Bugle
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

  • Catalina Cherry
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: No

Checkerbloom

Sidalcea malviflora
  • Checkerbloom
  • Recommendation: Prefer
  • Fire Resistance: Very Good
  • Native: Yes

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