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Happy Arbor Week! Plant a tree

We love our trees in California, from gnarled valley oaks, like the one above, to wispy desert willows. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
Special events, tree plantings in Sacramento and Rancho Cordova

California loves trees. So it's no surprise we take a whole week to celebrate Arbor Day.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, California celebrates Arbor Week from March 7 through 14. That allows volunteer organizations plenty of opportunities to plant trees -- especially in the City of Trees.

Sacramento has been a Tree City USA community for 41 years, tied with Burbank as the longest tenure as a Tree City among 147 California communities with that distinction. (Davis is close behind at 40 years.) Just over 3,400 communities are Tree Cities nationwide.

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is celebrating Arbor Week with tree plantings at Valley Hi Park, 8185 Center Pkwy, Sacramento, on Saturday morning, 8:45 a.m. to noon, and Williamson Elementary School in Rancho Cordova on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, another Arbor Week celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dave Roberts Park, 10805 Mapola Way, Rancho Cordova. The UCCE master gardeners of Sacramento County who specialize in landscape trees will staff a table where you can get your tree questions answered. Got a mystery tree, weed or pest? Bring a sample in a sealed plastic bag and get answers.

Most states have their own state Arbor Day or Week, staggered throughout the spring or fall, according to the National Arbor Day Foundation. There's one more tree holiday to remember. Held each year on the last Friday in April, National Arbor Day is April 26.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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