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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 April 7

The warm wave coming this week will shift weeds into overdrive. Get to work!

* Weed, weed, weed! Whack them before they flower.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash. Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias. Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom. April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce and cabbage seedlings.

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