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Learn about local mighty oaks

El Dorado County master gardeners offer free virtual workshop

Oak tree canopy from below
Learn more about our region's oak trees in a free Zoom workshop Saturday.
(Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Mighty oaks seem to be all around us. They’re the dominant native hardwood of the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills.

But which oak is which? How do you tell a live oak from a valley oak? What are the plusses of having an oak tree in your landscape? How do you keep an oak tree healthy and happy?

Learn a lot about native oaks during a special virtual workshop, “Oaks in El Dorado County.” Set for 9 a.m. Saturday, May 15, this free 90-minute class will be hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of El Dorado County.

Long lived, native oaks form the backbone of the region’s ecosystem, as both habitat and food source. Naturally drought tolerant, oaks also offer advantages for low-water landscapes.

Master gardener Deborah Nicolls will lead the workshop, focusing on the oaks that are native not just to El Dorado County but much of the Sacramento region.

“Learn about the different oak species in the county, their function in our native environment, the problems they are prone to, and how to care for them,” according to the master gardeners’ website.

Registration is free, but required. You can sign up right until class time. Go to: .

For more information and more virtual workshops:


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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