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Sacramento to get its own riverfront Hanami Line of cherry trees

SacTree unveils plans for new grove overlooking Sacramento River at Matsui Park

Artist's rendering of cherry trees in park
An artist's rendering shows what the Hanami Line will look like when the cherry tree grove is in full flower. (Courtesy Sacramento Tree Foundation)

A special place to celebrate cherry blossom time is coming to Sacramento’s riverfront.

This week, the Sacramento Tree Foundation unveiled plans to transform a lawn overlooking the Sacramento River into a Hanami Line – a gathering place framed by rows of flowering cherry trees.

To be part of Robert T. Matsui Waterfront Park just north of downtown Sacramento, the grove will include an artistic walkway, grassy areas, benches and public art – a lovely setting for public gatherings and individual enjoyment.

The Hanami Line (pronounced hah-nuh-mee) is expected to open in 2023 with its first blooms next spring.

According to the foundation, “The Hanami Line will combine Sacramento’s love of trees with the rich cultural heritage of this region. In cities across the world, people celebrate the arrival of spring by gathering with loved ones under the cherry blossoms. In Japan, this tradition is known as hanami and draws thousands of families to picnic, play, and relax in its parks.”

Sacramento’s Hanami Line could become a spring destination for both residents and visitors. Besides cherry blossom time, the space also could be used for year-round recreation, community events and festivals.

Aerial rendering of park
The pink trees in this rendering show where the Hanami Line
will be installed near the Sacramento River.

The project is expected to cost just under $7 million. So far, more than $6.3 million has been raised toward that goal including a combination of philanthropic gifts, a $500,000 commitment from UC Davis Health, support from the City of Sacramento, and a Clean California grant from Caltrans, says SacTree.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui, honorary co-chair of the Hanami Line capital campaign, is the widow of the late Congressman Robert T. Matsui, the park’s namesake, and has been instrumental in making the Hanami Line a reality. She noted that Washington, D.C., also is famous for its cherry trees.

“We are a city of rivers and a city of trees, and the Hanami Line weaves both aspects of our civic character together,” she said. “It will salute Sacramento’s rich history and create a lasting connection with the cherry trees that bloom every year in our nation’s capital.”

This new grove will bring smiles for decades to come, noted Sacramento Tree Foundation executive director Jessica Sanders. “In the midst of all of the bad news over the past few years, let’s come together to build something beautiful for Sacramento – a place where we can connect with loved ones and find respite in nature just blocks away from downtown.”

Donations are still being accepted for this project. Visit for more details.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Nov. 26:

Concentrate on helping your garden stay comfortable during these frosty nights – and clean up all those leaves!

* Irrigate frost-tender plants such as citrus in the late afternoon. That extra soil moisture increases temperatures around the plant a few degrees, just enough to prevent frost damage. The exception are succulents; too much water before frost can cause them to freeze.

* Cover sensitive plants before the sun goes down. Use cloth sheets or frost cloths, not plastic sheeting, to hold in warmth. Make sure to remove covers in the morning.

* Use fall leaves as mulch around shrubs and vegetables. Mulch acts as a blanket and keeps roots warmer.

* Stop dead-heading; let rose hips form on bushes to prompt dormancy.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location – and definitely indoors overnight. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they’ll bloom again next December.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Plant spring bulbs. Don’t forget the tulips chilling in the refrigerator. Daffodils can be planted without pre-chilling.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers and plant such spring bloomers as sweet peas, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Plant trees and shrubs. They’ll benefit from fall and winter rains while establishing their roots.

* Set out cool-weather annuals such as pansies and snapdragons.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins now. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb.

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