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4 Beautiful, Drought-Tolerant, Fire-Resistant Trees and Shrubs For Your Landscape Design in Sonoma County

The dry climate in Sonoma County sees just 76 days of precipitation in the average year, which is even lower right now due to the extended drought. Droughts set the stage for wildfires. You can help reduce the risk of wildfires by planting these beautiful drought-tolerant and fire-resistant trees in your landscape.



1. Lemonade Sumac Trees

Lemonade sumac trees are native to California. Since they are adapted to local climatic conditions, these trees do not need as much water nor fertilizer to grow as exotic varieties do. Lemonade sumac trees grow up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Their gorgeous pink and white flowers add character to landscapes. If used correctly, they can make the outdoor space more inviting. During the winter season, the flowers of a lemonade sumac tree transform into edible orange berries. These trees need very little water to survive and thrive. Usually, lemonade sumac trees need to be watered only once or twice during the summer months, which makes them ideal for Sonoma County’s weather. Lemonade sumac trees thrive in partial as well as full sun and can create plenty of shade for your house, helping keep it cool during the summer.

2. Toyon Shrubs

Toyon shrubs (or Christmas berries) can grow up to 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide. They are native to the Baja California Peninsula, Oregon, and California. Their bright red berries add a pop of color to landscapes during winter. During the summer, their white flowers attract pollinators such as bees, birds, and butterflies. They thrive in shade as well as in full sun.

3. Western Redbud Trees

Western redbud trees can grow up to 10-15 ft tall and wide. Without proper pruning, a western redbud tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The bright pink flowers of western redbud trees are edible and are an important source of pollen and nectar for early pollinators. They grow well in partial shade. Since they are not as tall as many other trees, western redbud trees can help prevent a fire from spreading. Also, these trees are deciduous, meaning they shed leaves in the late fall, adding organic matter to the soil.

4. Indian Fig Cactus

Like other types of cacti, the Indian fig cactus does well in dry environments. The Indian fig can grow up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. This species of cactus does not have as many spines as other species. Their fruits and pads should be peeled before eating. Indian fig cacti absorb a lot of water and are fire resistant. They can grow via fallen pads. To prevent unwanted overgrowth, pick up fallen pads from your backyard. Gardenworks offers top-notch Sonoma County landscape design services. Our landscape designers balance aesthetics and functionality in their designs. To make an appointment, call (707) 857-2050.

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