Home Landscaping Security Tips

Most homeowners like to plant trees, bushes, and shrubs near their home to provide a sense of privacy, especially in neighborhoods where homes are close together. But an effective home security plan includes keeping this greenery well trimmed so that thieves cannot use it for cover while they probe for weak points.

The following list of landscaping tips for your home security plan will help to keep your yard looking good and deter thieves that look for any opportunity to gain easy access to your home.

Trim Tree Branches Close to your House

Tree branches that come closer than 7 feet from upper story windows and decks are as good as a ladder to a thief. A big part of a home security plan is to keep tree branches near your house well trimmed to remove this opportunity.

Keep your Lawn Mowed

An unkempt lawn is a green light to thieves that you are out of town. If you need to be away for business or vacation, ask a friend or a trustworthy neighbor kid to mow your lawn at least once a week.

Properly Store Ladders

Leaving an unsecured ladder in your backyard is an easily avoidable breach of your home security plan. When you are done with ladders or other tools, make sure that they are put back in the garage or secured to a tree to prevent easy access to upper-story windows and decks.

Keep Bushes and Shrubs Trimmed

Police websites recommend that bushes and shrubs near your home be allowed to grow no higher than 3 feet. This part of a home security plan is hard for most folks to implement because they enjoy the natural beauty that larger bushes provide. Thieves love high bushes, especially near basement windows, because they cannot be easily seen by neighbors or passersby on the street.

Plant Low Growing Thorny Bushes

Instead of plating bushes that need trimming to keep them at a proper height, consider planting thorny bushes such as barberry, rose shrub, and hawthorne that remain low to the ground and act as natural razor wire. Ask the folks at your local garden center for their recommendations for attractive, thorny shrubs for your home security plan.

Avoid Planting a Line of Trees near the Street

This is one of the most common mistakes that homeowners make. Folks that live on busy streets or highways often plant a line of trees or shrubs to cut down on the road noise and provide a sense of privacy for their property. Thieves recognize this as a chance to get close to your house undetected. If they cannot be easily seen from the road or by neighbors, this gives them the time to break windows and aggressively gain entry to you home.

Install Outdoor Lighting

This may be the single most effective part of your home security plan. Install motion detector lighting around the perimeter of your home especially in the back yard and other hard to see locations. Good outdoor lighting is fairly inexpensive and if motion triggers a light to go off at 2 in the morning, it will arouse suspicion and inspire thieves to look for a softer target.


All of these tips and more are a big part of any effective home security plan. Ask your local police to ‘case’ your property as a thief would and you’ll discover several more things that you can do to make your home more secure and less likely to become a target for thieves.