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UC Master Gardener Fire-Smart Landscaping Tip – January

Time to Prune! 

Here’s a fire-smart landscaping tip from U C Marin Master Gardeners. Reduce fuel load by pruning. Winter is a good time, especially for dormant or deciduous trees and shrubs.
Prune after the leaves drop and before the buds form.
Remember the 3 D’s: dead, damaged and diseased parts should be removed. 
Prune dead and twiggy overgrown shrubs like lavender
Remove tree branches at least6 feet from the ground orup to 1/3 of their height
Remove any limbs 10 feet from the chimney or roof and maintain separation between trees or groups of trees
Avoid topping trees and shearing hedges as this causes weak and twiggy growth and more fuel for a fire. 
Make your garden fire-smart by removing dead material and maintaining separation between your plants.  For more information on how and why to prune and specific plant requirements visit http://marinmg.ucanr.edu/Fire-smart_Landscaping/