Cleaning up after the storm

Many residents were surprised by the intense storm that swept through Roseville in late June. Power outages that lasted for days, localized flooding and thousands of trees  damaged or downed. Residents and city employees sprang into action, cleaning up, digging out and hauling away the immediate debris and mess. Although the storm left a big mess, city staff is offering a few ideas to turn lemons into lemonade.

Free firewood (eventually): According to the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, freshly cut wood has very high moisture content. Some of the moisture must be removed before burning it. Cut firewood lengthwise to season (dry) it. It can take up to nine months before the firewood is dry enough to burn properly. If you are planning to burn in a wood-burning stove or fireplace, only use seasoned hardwoods. Soft, moist wood accelerates creosote buildup that can block a chimney. Creosote is highly combustible and can catch fire inside the chimney flue.

Store firewood in the side yard or backyard only. Stack firewood no more than 6 feet high and 6 inches off the ground.

Reminder that you cannot take firewood to your cabin. Because of the Emerald Ash Borer, no hardwood can be taken out of the county. Woodchips: If you lost a tree or lots of branches, you  could rent a chipper from a home improvement store. Mulch your tree and use the woodchips in your garden or share it with a friend. Woodchips make a great ground cover that reduces weeding, saves water, nourishes soil and reduces the need for chemical weed killers or herbicides.

Roseville residents can get free woodchips from the city’s compost site, located on Dale Street, south of County Road C. Woodchips are in the bins in front of the compost site. The city will resume delivering woodchips to residents’ homes in late July, after staff have completed the storm cleanup.

Backyard recreational fires: In Roseville, wood must be at least one inch in diameter to be burned in a backyard fire. Season (dry) the wood before burning it. Do not burn twigs, leaves or other yard waste.  They could become airborne and spread a fire. Treated or painted wood, wood products and building materials cannot be burned. These items can add pollutants to the air. Log on to www.cityofroseville.com/firerules or call 651-792-7192 for a complete list of recreational fire guidelines.

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