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All plants, whether they are exotic or Australian, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat. Different fire conditions have varying effects at different times on the same species. Nevertheless, trees of the type recommended in the following list, if correctly sited, conserve moisture, serve as a wind break by absorbing and deflecting radiant heat from the fire and act as a barrier to flying sparks and embers. In any area likely to be subject to bush fires, attention must be given to proper planning and regular maintenance. The following are some of the factors that should be considered.

  • Plant trees at least 5 m from house to allow clear access. Have paved sections such as paths and barbecue areas and/or a pebble garden with herbs near to the house.
  • Position pools, tennis courts, etc., between house and direct line of fire threat. A lawn is a clear space that can be used as a fire break.
  • Space trees and shrubs to avoid continuous canopy that may carry fire. Careful arrangement of plants is essential. Don’t have trees that overhang the house.
  • Use plants around the house that can be pruned when fire threatens. Trees and shrubs with lignotubers will re-sprout and recover quickly if it is necessary to cut them back hard in the face of threatening fire.
  • Monitor the growth of trees and shrubs so that pruning is maintained, dead limbs removed, leaves put into compost bins with lids.
  • Avoid combustible door mats and brush fences. Use draft sealers around doors and screens on windows.
  • Avoid growing Conifers, rough fibrous bark trees such as Syncarpia glomulifera and “candle bark” trees (loose bark hanging from tree). Eucalypts of the following type are hazardous: E. globoidea, E. viminalis and E. oreades.

“All plants, whether they are exotic or Australian, will burn when subjected to sufficient heat.”

The following list was compiled from various sources. A key to the symbols used is given at the end of the list.