What native species are the least flammable?

Many households live in rural areas face dangers from wildfires. Managing the vegetation around your property can help reduce the intensity of the fire.

The best way to protect your home is to reduce the intensity of the fire as it approaches. Creating an area round your home where all the flammable materials such as branches, vegetation, long grass, leaves, and twigs have been removed takes away fuel for the fire.

High flammability vegetation affects fire intensity, which has a major influence on fire control and the chance of homes being damaged or destroyed. High flammability fuels have characteristics which greatly assist fire spread.

The replacement of high flammability species with lower flammability species can reduce fire hazard and create a space around the home that can be defended and allows heat and embers to dissipate.

Examples of moderately and highly flammable species are Kunzea ericoides (Kanuka), Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka), Podocarpus totara (Totara), Dodonaea viscosa (Ake-ake),Cyathea & Dicksonia  (Tree ferns) and Cyathodes fasciculata (Mingimingi).

Species that would be suitable for green breaks or defensible spaces include: Fuchsia excorticata (Kotukutuku), Pseudopanax crassifolius (lancewood), Pseudopanax arboreus (five finger), Coprosma robusta (Karamu), Geniostoma ligustrifolium(Hangehange), Coprosma australis (Raurekau), Corynocarpus laevigatus (karaka), Carpodetus serratus (Putaputaweta), Griselinia lucida (Puka), Macropiper excelsum (Kawakawa), Solanum aviculare (Poroporo), Coprosma grandifolia (Raurekau).

To show our support Kerikeri Plant Production donated a number of the low flammability species to the local fire service to display at their stand at the Waitangi Day Celebration and the Northland Field days.

In addition to talking to the Team at Kerikeri Plant Production for advice of the best species to plant, you can also contact your local Fire Authority for example your fire service or local council.

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