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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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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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