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Love oaks? Sac Tree needs volunteers

Tree planting set for Saturday at Stone Lakes wildlife refuge

It doesn’t take long for acorns to grow into oak trees. Oak seedlings
will be planted Saturday at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Get more exercise. Help the environment. Volunteer.

Do those actions sound like your new year’s resolutions? Then, you’re in luck. On Saturday morning , the Sacramento Tree Foundation is hosting a tree planting event that covers all three.

From 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8 , SacTree volunteers will plant up to 150 native tree seedlings at Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Sacramento County. Registration is free but limited; volunteers should sign up in advance to get directions and save their spots.

“Help us reforest the riparian oak woodlands of the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge,” says the foundation. “In partnership with refuge staff and the County of Sacramento, we will be planting up to 150 native tree seedlings along the upper reaches of Snodgrass Slough. Reforestation is underway at this location to secure and improve the wildlife habitat protected and stewarded by our only local National Wildlife Refuge. This event will be a great opportunity to learn more about locally native trees, wildlife habitat, and to see some of the migratory waterfowl that visit Stone Lakes in the winter.”

This tree planting event is no walk in the park. Volunteers will need to hike 1 mile across muddy cow pastures to get to the planting sites, then 1 mile back to the parking lot.

:This project will require significant physical exertion and may not be appropriate for all participants,” warns SacTree. “ You will get wet and muddy at this event. Rubber boots and rugged outdoor-wear are highly recommended.”

Volunteers must commit to the full four-plus hours, too.

“All attendees must meet the group at check-in and be able to stay for the entire event,” says SacTree. “ Late arrivals and early departures cannot be accommodated due to access requirements. We will be working in an area of the refuge that is not open to the public and travel to and from the site must be supervised by Sacramento Tree Foundation staff.”

Bring your muscle but leave tools at home.

“We provide all the necessary tools and supplies to care for trees,” SacTree says. “Participants will receive a short, hands-on training on site. After learning the tools and techniques, participants will split up into groups and begin planting trees on residential properties.”

Once registered, participants will get directions to the Stone Lakes parking lot and more details.

Sign up here:

For more information: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Dec. 10:

Take advantage of these dry but crisp conditions. It’s time to get out the rake!

* Rake leaves away from storm drains and keep gutters clear.

* Fallen leaves can be used for mulch and compost. Chop up large leaves with a couple of passes with a lawn mower.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they’re dormant. Without their foliage, trees are easier to prune.

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

* Make sure to take frost precautions with new transplants and sensitive plants. Mulch, water and cover tender plants in the late afternoon to retain warmth.

* Succulent plants are at particular risk if temperatures drop below freezing. Don’t water succulents before frost; cover instead. Use cloth sheets, not plastic. Make sure to remove coverings during the day.

* 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. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eaves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Plant garlic (December's the last chance -- the ground is getting cold!) and onions for harvest in summer.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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