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Winter tree pruning workshops are on the calendar

It'll be pruning season before we know it. Several tree pruning workshops
are planned next month in the region. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Learn techniques for landscape, fruit trees

Don't panic, but January's just a few weeks away. With the new year comes tree pruning season, when landscape and fruit trees are dormant.

Several pruning demonstrations already are on the 2020 calendar. The Roseville events require a small fee and registration; the Sacramento County events are free and do not require registration.

They include:

-- 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 11, or 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville. Local arborists will present "Pruning With Purpose," a hands-on workshop designed to introduce the basics of tree pruning. Tools and techniques will be covered. Cost is $6 for Roseville residents, $8 non-residents. Information and sign-ups: or call 916-746-1550.

-- 2-3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Pocket Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive, Sacramento. The UCCE Sacramento County master gardeners will teach the basics of pruning landscape trees growing in your neighborhood.  It's an indoor class and will cover pruning tools and techniques, basic cuts, and scheduling the correct time of year to prune to ensure your trees heal properly.

-- 9 a.m.– noon, Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks. This is an outdoor event, rain or shine, at the master gardeners' demonstration garden. They will give presentations on pruning deciduous fruit trees, blueberries, cane berries and grape vines.  The vineyard will feature cane and spur dormant pruning and discuss how to double-prune grapes.

This event begins the Open Garden schedule at the Hort Center. In addition to the pruning talks, garden tools will be on display, plus demonstrations will be held on how to build and turn the compost pile.  In the vegetable garden, learn about growing cool season vegetables.  The herb area will introduce the 2020 herb of the year and share ideas for planning the herb garden.

If you miss this event, the February Open Garden will be on Feb. 8 and also will include some late pruning presentations. For information on the Sacramento County events, call 916-875-6913 or go to or

--10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 18 , or 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville. "Fruit Tree Care" is the topic of this Roseville workshop, which will include proper pruning techniques specifically for fruit trees. Cost is $6 for Roseville residents, $8 non-residents. Information and sign-ups: or call 916-746-1550.

-- Kathy Morrison


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For week of Dec. 3:

Make the most of gaps between raindrops. This is a busy month!

* Windy conditions brought down a lot of leaves. Make sure to rake them away from storm drains.

* Use those leaves as mulch around frost-tender shrubs and new transplants.

* Rake and remove dead leaves and stems from dormant perennials.

* Just because it rained doesn't mean every plant got watered. Give a drink to plants that the rain didn't reach, such as under eves or under evergreen trees. Also, well-watered plants hold up better to frost than thirsty plants.

* Prune non-flowering trees and shrubs while they're dormant.

* Clean and sharpen garden tools before storing for the winter.

* Brighten the holidays with winter bloomers such as poinsettias, amaryllis, calendulas, Iceland poppies, pansies and primroses.

* Keep poinsettias in a sunny, warm location. Water thoroughly. After the holidays, feed your plants monthly so they'll bloom again next December.

* Plant one last round of spring bulbs including daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, anemones and scillas. Get those tulips out of the refrigerator and into the ground.

* This is also a good time to seed wildflowers such as California poppies.

* Plant such spring bloomers as sweet pea, sweet alyssum and bachelor buttons.

* Late fall is the best time to plant most trees and shrubs. This gives them plenty of time for root development before spring growth. They also benefit from fall and winter rains.

* Lettuce, cabbage and broccoli also can be planted now.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Bare-root season begins. Plant bare-root berries, kiwifruit, grapes, artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Beware of soggy soil. It can rot bare-root plants.

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