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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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