If your property suffered damage from the recent storm, there may be risks associated with the clean up but there is also help at hand.

There are anecdotal reports of an increase in injuries from chainsaws sustained by people clearing their properties. Council has warned of unscrupulous arborists gouging residents in areas affected by storm damage.

Funding available to assist with some clean-up activities on your property, particularly if trees/branches pose a hazard. For more information on available funding, visit www.vic.gov.au/storm-clean-up-program.

Council is also offering free green waste disposal at Council transfer stations until the end of July.

It may be that fallen trees have some commercial value. Private landowners can contact VicForests for expert advice. More than 170 private landowners have already made contact about the potential commercial use of fallen trees. VicForests advises that fallen trees are useful for different timber products for approximately 12 months and potentially longer.

Landowners who have fallen trees that are at least 3 metres of trunk and around 40 cms in diameter can contact VicForests at vfs.admin@vicforests.com.au for advice. VF will want to know more including how many trees have fallen, the average diameter of the trees, whether there are signs of rotting and whether the trees are accessible for a large vehicle.

“VicForests is working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Bushfire Recovery Victoria and local councils to maximise opportunities for fallen timber to be used by industry,” said a spokesperson for VicForests. “We want to ensure that every opportunity is taken to maximise the use of the fallen trees resulting from the June storms particularly when the building industry is experiencing a timber shortage.”