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Keep your trees healthy: Learn correct pruning

Here's an example of how not to prune a tree: The street side of this fruitless mulberry
has been hacked
but the residence side still has all its canopy. This was done in July, at the
height of summer,
rather than during winter dormancy. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Free workshops on the winter calendar

Is there anything in horticulture sadder than a badly pruned tree? Poor pruning practices weaken trees and make them dangerous to people and structures.

Learn proper techniques for pruning landscape trees this Saturday, Jan. 11, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Pocket Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento.

This free workshop will be presented by the UCCE master gardeners of Sacramento County. It's an indoor class that will cover tools and techniques as well as basic cuts. The master gardeners also will discuss the best time of year to prune to ensure your trees heal properly.

For more information on master gardener workshops and events, go to .

The Sacramento Tree Foundation, naturally, has a wealth of information on pruning advice at its website, .

The foundations's next available pruning workshop is Saturday, Feb. 1, 8:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Garden Valley Elementary School, 3601 Larchwood Drive, Sacramento. It includes an indoor classroom portion and outdoor field training to practice pruning in small groups on young trees.

There is no charge for the workshop, but anyone interested is asked to sign up ahead of time. See their page here to do so.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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