My Neighbor Has a Eucalyptus Tree And It Is An Extreme Fire Hazard. How Can I Make Them Remove It?

If it helps ease your nerves, you should know that the mere presence of eucalyptus trees does not necessarily indicate an “extreme” fire hazard. Single specimens of most tree varieties, including many fire hazardous species, can usually be maintained in a way that minimizes the hazard. Remember that trees don’t magically burst into flames, even during a wildfire. Some type of fuel, usually on the ground, carries the fire into the tree. Eliminating these “ladder fuels” is often more important than the tree species itself.

The blue gum eucalyptus common in Marin is considered a “fire hazardous” species, yet they can be (and often are) maintained in a state that makes them relatively fire resistant. By removing vegetation around the base of the trees, removing the bark which peels back annually, and removing small diameter lower limbs up to at least 1/3 of the tree’s height can make a eucalyptus tree much more resistant to igniting during a wildfire. Often times our biggest concern about these trees is the leaves that fall from them onto nearby rooftops – not the tree itself. Contact your local fire department or a licensed arborist for an evaluation of the tree(s) in question.

A licensed arborist should examine any trees you’re concerned with and make recommendations on ways to improve the tree’s health and fire-resistance.

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