The Public Works Department continues to be heavily involved in the cleanup and management of storm related debris. Our Forestry Operations crews continue to address and prioritize the removal of damaged trees on City property resulting from storm damage and anticipate that these removal operations will continue into the Fall.
Solid Waste Service in collaboration with Roads Services continue to address debris cleanup through regular waste collection operations and through service requests for the removal of large material.
Management of Wood and Tree Debris
Significant quantities of wood and tree debris that have been stored at City yards since the start of debris cleanup from the storm on May 21st continue to be chipped. Some of the finer chipped material will be made available to residents at no cost. Staff have identified 6 locations across the city where residents can pick up wood chips. Please note that wood chips from storm-related tree debris will differ in size and quality from what is for sale at a garden center. The chips will be available while quantities last. There is no per person limit. Residents are being advised to bring a shovel and their own containers for loading the chips. Residents are encouraged to wear work gloves and appropriate footwear and be mindful of other people and vehicles to keep everyone safe. The wood chip piles will be available 24/7 at the following locations and once available, this will be communicated to the public via various media channels:
City Works Yards
• 4244 Rideau Valley Drive
• 1655 Maple Grove Road
• 29 Hurdman Road
• 2145 Roger Stevens Drive
• Navan Memorial Centre at 1295 Colonial Road
• Nepean Sportsplex at 1701 Woodroffe Avenue
The wood chips will be in publicly accessible areas at each location and signage will be posted to identify the materials, outline safety practices and remind residents what to bring with them. These locations will be monitored, and wood chip stock replenished as required. Should the City not be able to dispose of all wood chips through public uses, then other disposal options will be considered and shared with Council.
In addition to the repurposing of wood chips, the city is also exploring options for the online auctioning of wood logs resulting from the storm. Further communication will be shared with the public on this initiative once it becomes available.
Strategy for Stump Removal
Public Works is dealing with two types of stump removal operations on City property. The first is related to stumps resulting from City trees that have been removed where the stumps remain intact and the second is related to uprooted stumps.
For stumps that remain in place, staff will be undertaking stump grinding operations in 2023. Stump grinding for these stumps will be added to Forestry’s regular stumping program. It is standard practice once a tree removal is complete for the remaining stump to be addressed the following year through the city’s stumping program. Forestry staff will communicate with residents to confirm stump grinding operations for 2023.
Uprooted stumps on city roadsides will need to be removed and the remaining hole backfilled. Due to the very high number of stumps to be addressed, these will be lengthy operations. These operations include the procurement of contracted services to complete the work. Once these contracts are awarded, utility locates will be required before removal operations can take place. This will be a lengthy process and while staff will make every effort to expedite these operations, it is expected that some removal operations for uprooted stumps could extend into 2023. Given the extended timelines, staff will be communicating with residents who have uprooted stumps on the city roadsides adjacent to their properties of the length of time it may take to have them removed.
Stump grinding and removal operations of uprooted stumps in parks will also be addressed in 2023 after removal operations along roadsides are underway.
The May 21st storm caused significant tree canopy loss in Ottawa. Residential tree replacements on City property will be conducted through the City’s Trees in Trust program. Residents who would like a city tree planted in the right of way portion of their property can submit a request online. Currently, the fall 2022 planting season is fully subscribed. New requests for Trees in Trust will be processed for spring 2023. Public Works has also extended the June 1st deadline to apply to the Schoolyard Tree Planting Grant Program to October, to allow schools that lost trees from the storm to apply.
The May 21st storm also caused tree loss in City parks. Staff are still conducting tree loss assessments in parks; however, re-planting needs will be determined this year and re-planting will occur in 2023. Staff are still focused on storm recovery but will be looking at opportunities to scale-up tree plantings in 2023.
Public Works remains mindful that some residents are continuing to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Please visit the City’s storm response webpage for up-to-date information on what supports are available.