Shrubs should be used carefully in bushfire prone areas

Shrubs are a ladder fuel that can spread fire to other parts of the property, including trees and buildings. At which point the fire can be difficult to control. To minimise this risk, ensure that planting are selected, positioned and irrigated appropriately.


  • Choose low growing shrubs (unless used as a screen planting) that remain green throughout the summer.
  • Select plants with favourable flammability characteristics, and which don’t produce a lot of dead plant material.
  • Position shrubs away from pathways leading to your secondary shelter, and from along egress routes and other accessways. Burning shrubs are an obvious hazard to people trying to escape or fight a bushfire.
  • Keep plantings watered and clear of debris, especially during warm weather.
  • Larger shrubs can be used as Screen plantings. Choose tall evergreen species with moderately dense foliage which can shield or screen the home from wind and wind driven debris. Position these plantings away from the home where they will be effective without adding an additional hazard to the house.


  • Avoid shrubs that have highly flammable characteristics.
  • Avoid shrubs that produce leaf litter and dead plant materials.
  • Avoid large or dense areas of plantings – plant individual or small clusters of shrubs, surrounded by areas of non-combustible material.
  • Don’t plant shrubs under or around windows, vents, doorways or other vulnerable building elements.
  • Don’t position shrubs below trees or where they might spread fire to the lower branches of the tree.

Close up of a Grevillea, with pink and yellow flowers and light green foliage

Varieties of Grevillea are suitable for bushfire prone areas