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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 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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