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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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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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