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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 Jan. 29

Bundle up and get work done!

* Prune, prune, prune. Now is the time to cut back most deciduous trees and shrubs. The exceptions are spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

* Now is the time to prune fruit trees, except apricot and cherry trees. Clean up leaves and debris around the trees to prevent the spread of disease.

* Prune roses, even if they’re still trying to bloom or sprouting new growth. Strip off any remaining leaves, so the bush will be able to put out new growth in early spring.

* Prune Christmas camellias (Camellia sasanqua), the early-flowering varieties, after their bloom. They don’t need much, but selective pruning can promote bushiness, upright growth and more bloom next winter. Feed with an acid-type fertilizer. But don’t feed your Japonica camellias until after they finish blooming next month. Feeding while camellias are in bloom may cause them to drop unopened buds.

* Clean up leaves and debris around your newly pruned roses and shrubs. Put down fresh mulch or bark to keep roots cozy.

* Apply horticultural oil to fruit trees to control scale, mites and aphids. Oils need 24 hours of dry weather after application to be effective.

* This is also the time to spray a copper-based oil to peach and nectarine trees to fight leaf curl. Avoid spraying on windy days.

* Divide daylilies, Shasta daisies and other perennials.

* Cut back and divide chrysanthemums.

* Plant bare-root roses, trees and shrubs.

* Transplant pansies, violas, calendulas, English daisies, snapdragons and fairy primroses.

* In the vegetable garden, plant fava beans, head lettuce, mustard, onion sets, radicchio and radishes.

* Plant bare-root asparagus and root divisions of rhubarb.

* In the bulb department, plant callas, anemones, ranunculus and gladiolus for bloom from late spring into summer.

* Plant blooming azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons. If you’re shopping for these beautiful landscape plants, you can now find them in full flower at local nurseries.

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