The following are tips and suggestions to consider for a safe garden environment:

Fire-wise landscaping: This is critical if you live among chaparral, woodland, or forest areas.

Home Landscaping for Fire (free download)

Landscaping Tips to Help Defend Your Home from Wildfire (free download)

Ordinance and code regulations: Check with your city or county planning department for current information on landscaping and irrigation, ramps, retaining walls, fence height, and structures such as sheds, gazebos, patios, and arbors.

Power lines and Utility Poles: Ask your energy provider for a list of trees that are safe to plant under power lines. Perhaps a replacement and/or trimming program is offered for existing trees.

PG&E Tree Planting Guidelines: or 1-800-743-5000 (specify Central CA) or email

Trees and Utilities (PDF)

Utility meters, service pipes, and sewer lines: It is important to keep these areas clear for ease of access. Trim any vegetation and keep the area free of overgrown weeds and/or debris. Plant trees a minimum of ten feet away from these utilities to prevent roots from breaking, clogging, or otherwise, damaging service pipes.

Setback lines or restrictions: Be aware of minimum planting distances from structures, property lines, utility poles, etc. Check with the city or county building department if you are considering a shed, greenhouse, workshop, etc. Also, know where your property line is located to avoid complications with neighbors.