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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 Feb. 5

Make the most of sunny days and get winter tasks done:

* This is the last chance to spray fruit trees before they bloom. Treat peach and nectarine trees with copper-based fungicide. Spray apricot trees at bud swell to prevent brown rot. Apply horticultural oil to control scale, mites and aphids on fruit trees soon after a rain. But remember: Oils need at least 24 hours to dry to be effective. Don’t spray during foggy weather or when rain is forecast.

* Feed spring-blooming shrubs and fall-planted perennials with slow-release fertilizer. Feed mature trees and shrubs after spring growth starts.

* Finish pruning roses and deciduous trees.

* Remove aphids from blooming bulbs with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap.

* Fertilize strawberries and asparagus.

* Transplant or direct-seed several flowers, including snapdragon, candytuft, lilies, astilbe, larkspur, Shasta and painted daisies, stocks, bleeding heart and coral bells.

* In the vegetable garden, plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and strawberry and rhubarb roots.

* Transplant cabbage and its close cousins – broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts – as well as lettuce (both loose leaf and head).

* Plant artichokes, asparagus and horseradish from root divisions.

* Plant potatoes from tubers and onions from sets (small bulbs). The onions will sprout quickly and can be used as green onions in March.

* From seed, plant beets, chard, lettuce, mustard, peas, radishes and turnips.

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