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Become an 'Acorn Harvester'

SacTree now accepting registration for popular program, open to whole family

Several acorns on a concrete block
Acorns are starting to fall. The Sacramento Tree
Foundation trains volunteers to gather viable
acorns to grow into trees. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

It’s almost that time of year again: Acorns will soon be here!

As part of its oak reforestation program, the Sacramento Tree Foundation annually trains volunteers to gather viable acorns to grow into trees.

Registration is now open for the two-part training schedule, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, and the following Sunday morning, Sept. 26. The Wednesday evening session is virtual and will be held online. The follow-up morning session will include hands-on acorn gathering at a site to be determined.

Participation is free, but space is limited. Sign up early.

“At the Sacramento Tree Foundation, we steward our urban forest from seed to slab,” say the organizers. “The annual acorn harvest celebrates the beginnings of the lifecycle of our native oaks. Acorns are harvested by volunteers, carefully sorted by interns, grown into seedlings by schoolchildren, planted at reforestation sites by volunteers, and stewarded by our staff. When trees reach the end of their lifespans, we salvage and sell their wood to further support education and programming around the lifecycle of the urban forest.”

That process starts with the acorns. Each fall, SacTree volunteers gather thousands from native oaks. The Acorn Harvester training sessions and program are open to all ages. Students under age 16 are encouraged to attend with a parent or adult.

“Acorn Harvesters will learn how to harvest in a sustainable and ethical way and how to work under the organization's harvesting permits,” say the organizers.

Other than training, no tools or advance knowledge is required. Families are welcome to participate.

To sign up or get more details: .


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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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