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Learn secrets of stronger, healthier trees

SacTree, RWA offer free seminar on 'Young Tree Pruning'

Tree pruning
Proper pruning when a tree is young can help
it grow strong and true. (Photo courtesy
Sacramento Tree Foundation)

Why do some trees survive high winds while others snap like twigs? It often comes down to pruning – not just of the mature tree, but as that tree was developing.

Train your trees to grow strong and true with the help of a new online class presented by the Sacramento Tree Foundation and the Regional Water Authority.

Set for noon Thursday, Feb. 4, “Young Tree Pruning” will present the do’s and don’ts of how to train a tree to be its best. This early pruning is especially important with shade trees, which can provide heat relief and potentially save homeowners energy and money.

Arborist Pamela Sanchez from the Sacramento Tree Association will demonstrate techniques as well as discuss tools and tree’s needs. She’ll concentrate on shade trees, particularly the fast-growing varieties common to Sacramento. (This class doesn’t include fruit tree care.)

“Quick, simple steps you can take now to help your young shade trees grow healthy and beautiful will save you time and money in the future,” according to the RWA. “We’ll teach you how and where to make good cuts and which tools to use.”

This one-hour class is free and open to customers of the local water suppliers that are part of the Regional Water Authority. Advance registration is required.

Register at:

This seminar is part of the RWA’s winter series of water-wise landscaping and educational seminars. Find out more and sign up at: .


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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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