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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 Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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