Did you know that your commercial landscaping can play a significant role in fire safety? The shrubs that you select as accent plants on your business property, for instance, can act as ladders that carry fire upwards and into buildings and trees. Although there are no truly fireproof plants, some shrubs are more fire-resistant than others. To create a fire-resistant landscape, you should stick with deciduous shrubs as opposed to conifer because conifer sap contains flammable resins that aren't present in deciduous vegetation. Following are five excellent landscaping choices that provide fire-resistant properties:
This is a non-hybrid rose with purplish-pink single flowers that bloom from June through August in most locations. These can grow to over 6 feet tall with a similar spread, so be sure to give them plenty of room. they make excellent specimen plantings and can be used as hedging on larger properties.
Yellow currant blooms in spring with bright gold flowers that deepen to red after they've been pollinated. As an added bonus to being fire-resistant, they provide an abundance of delicious currant berries in late summer and early fall.
No matter what size shrub you need for your commercial landscape, you'll be able to find something suitable among the widely diverse cotoneaster genus. Besides being resistant to fire, they're also resistant to deer -- good news if your business is located in a rural or semi-rural area. Bumblebees and hummingbirds love them, and although their berries aren't considered edible as human fare, they provide food for wild birds in autumn and winter.
Sumacs are attractive shrubs that provide vibrant fall foliage that will really make your business stand out in a good way. Its fall foliage may be flame-colored, but the shrub is nonetheless flame-resistant. Sumac is often associated with severe contact dermatitis, but the type of sumac used in landscaping does not cause this condition -- this is specific to the wild sumac that is native to the forests of New England.
Native to the Pacific Northwest, vine maple is another landscaping option that provides brilliant autumn color -- fall foliage ranges from bright gold through red. This large, multi-trunked shrub has an open growth habit that not only helps make it fire-resistant but makes it a more security-friendly option than shrubs that feature dense growth.
Many other fire-resistant shrubs are available, so be sure to ask your local landscaping service for advice on what grows best in your particular area. One company that provides landscaping recommendations is Green Effex.