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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 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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