2012 November Horticultural Report: Firewise Plants

The Ashland Fire Dept is asking residents to seriously consider planting fire resistant plants around their house and property to reduce fire hazards. They are advising homeowners to remove all plants they consider fire hazards and in their place plant firewise plants.

For more information, and to schedule a free wildfire safety home assessment call: Ali True, Ashland Firewise Community Coordinator at 541-552-2231.

Junipers are especially combustible!  This drought tolerant ground cover is planted around so many homes in our area the City is requesting they be cleared back 50 feet away from a any structure

Also, the Oregon State University Extension Service has a list of recommended fire-resistant plants which you can obtain from Valley View Nursery, or you can download it here: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/sites/default/files/fire-resistant_planting_wd_2011.pdf

The following is a short list of recommended firewise plants:

Ground Covers:
Kinnikinnick and Creeping Oregon Grape both look good year round and prefer sun or part sun. For shady areas, plant Japanese Pachysandra.

Firewise perennials plants:  Yarrow (note: can spread), Cone flower, Iris, Oriental poppy , Russian sage, Lamb’s ear, and Cranesbill.

Burning bush, Rockrose, Ferns, Witch Hazel, Heavenly Bamboo, False Holly, Pieris, Potentilla Fruticosa,  Rosa Rugosa, Lilac, Viburnums, Sweetspire and Cotoneaster.

Regina, at Ray’s Nursery, highly recommends the following plants because they are not only fire-resistant, they are very attractive, easy to grow and deer resistant.

Cotoneaster Dammericotoneaster_dammeri_var_radicans
Plant Type: Evergreen, groundcover, shrub
Size: 2ft tall 6ft wide
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Flowers: White
Exposure: Full sun
Attributes: Fall color & red berries, Deer resistant, Attracts Birds, drought tolerant once established.  Grows fast.
USDA Zone: 5-8

Itea Virginica  (Little Henry Sweetspire)ilex Little Henry
Plant Type: Deciduous Shrub
Size: 2 ft High 3ft Wide
Bloom Time: June – July
Flowers: Fragrant white sprays
Exposure: Part to full sun
Attributes:  Attracts butterflies, Bright red fall foliage, Deer resistant, North America Native. Needs moist soil.
USDA Zone: 5-9

Horticultural Report by: Mary Anne Wallace
Article written by: Carlotta Lucas