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El Dorado County tree farms now open

With pandemic precautions in place, holiday tradition continues

Looking our over tops of trees
El Dorado County tree farms are now open, with COVID-19 safety requirements for customers.
(Photo courtesy )

Some traditions continue during this most unusual holiday season. That includes Christmas tree season on Apple Hill.

With COVID safety requirements in place, most El Dorado County Christmas tree farms are now officially open for business. After years of growth, their trees are ready for customers.

But remember to bring your face mask.

"Masks are required in the sales and tree-baling area," wrote the Kobervig family on their Crystal Creek Farm website, . "Please limit the people in your group that enter this area. We disinfect all saws and shared items."

On 20 acres in Camino, the Kobervigs grow a large assortment of trees.

"We have several varieties of trees including: White Fir, Silver Swift Fir, Silver Tip, Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Blue Spruce, Nordmann Fir and Grand Fir," they wrote.

The flat price of $75, cash or check, includes tax and packing materials.

Outdoors and away from crowds, Christmas tree hunting can be a safe family activity. Most farms have plenty of room for social distancing, and invite visitors to walk around. Some offer tables for picnicking. Dogs on leashes are often welcomed.

Most of these farms operate as choose-and-cut, not cut your own. All customers need to do is pick one. But if they still want to saw, sanitized tools are available.

"We are owned and operated by a family that was one of the first 'Choose and Cut' tree farmers in El Dorado County more than 55 years ago," wrote Cathy Morgan of Carson Ridge Evergreens, also in the Camino area near Placerville ( ). "You choose the tree, we cut it for you or show you how to do it yourself."

Beautiful clear and crisp weather is forecast for this weekend and the next several days, making this prime tree hunting time.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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