Wood chips from storm related tree debris are available for pick-up at various locations and at no cost to residents. Since Friday July 15, 1,736 cubic yards of woodchips have been delivered to seven City sites. Residents have picked up the equivalent of 28,000 standard garden mulch bags, creating a beneficial re-use of tree debris from the May 21st storm.
Woodchips from storm-related tree debris may differ in size and quality from what is for sale at a garden centre. There is no per-person limit and chips will be available while quantities last. Residents should bring a shovel and containers for loading the chips, and wear work gloves and appropriate footwear. For more information on where to pick-up wood chips, visit the City’s storm update website.
Firewood and pieces of block wood from City trees damaged by the storm will also be available for residents to pick up at no cost in the coming weeks. Information on dates and locations for collecting this material will be provided to Council and residents shortly. In addition, full logs are currently up for auction until August 5th, and anyone interested in purchasing them can visit this website for more details.
Public Works is planning the removal and disposal of more than 450 large, uprooted City tree stumps in the road allowance that were uprooted by the storm. Staff are working on procuring contracted services to assist with this significant undertaking and removals are expected to begin this fall. The work to remove uprooted tree stumps may include excavation and re-instatement with topsoil and grass seed. Residents should note that if the City tree adjacent to their property was removed as a result of the storm, tree re-planting will not automatically take place. Residents who would like a tree planted on the right of way adjacent to their property can request it through the Trees in Trust program. Residents should also note that if they have requested a tree re-planting through the Trees in Trust program, that re-planting will not take place during the stump removal.
The Trees in Trust program for Fall 2022 is now full, however any requests received will be added to next years’ planting program. Staff are looking into other options to expand tree plantings in 2023, including partnership opportunities and supports for planting on private property.
Public Works has identified over 2,000 intact stumps remaining after storm related tree removals, and those stumps will be addressed in 2023, from Spring to Fall. It is standard practice for Public Works to add stump removal to the following year’s stumping program after the removal of a tree on city property.
While staff generally make an effort to inform residents of the stumping timelines, given the large volume of trees removed, it is possible that not all residents were made aware. Residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 if they have questions about the status of their stump removal. The process for removal of an intact stump involves getting utility locates, grinding the stump, backfilling with soil and overseeding.
Noise Barriers and Fences
A growing number of barriers and fences have been reported damaged as a result of the storm on May 21st. These include barriers that help to reduce noise in areas that require noise reduction, such as near highways, and may be located on City or private property.
Staff are working to confirm ownership with residents and stakeholders when requests for repair are received, remove damaged barriers/fences where possible and maintain a database of damaged barriers/fences on City-owned property. Cross-departmental discussions are ongoing to determine a way forward for replacing City-owned barriers and fences, including funding and timelines. Residents who would like to report a damaged noise barrier should contact 3-1-1.
Public Works remains mindful that some residents are continuing to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Please visit the City’s storm recovery webpage for up-to-date information on what supports are available.