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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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