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Learn proper pruning at free Green Acres workshops

Class with expert tips offered at all locations

The dramatic structure of these fig trees at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is revealed after the leaves are gone. When a deciduous tree is bare in dormancy,  it's easy to see its limb structure for pruning.

The dramatic structure of these fig trees at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center is revealed after the leaves are gone. When a deciduous tree is bare in dormancy, it's easy to see its limb structure for pruning. Kathy Morrison

By now, winter weather likely has stripped your deciduous trees and shrubs of all their leaves.

That means it’s pruning time.

Before tackling this task, get some expert advice at free workshops offered by Green Acres Nursery & Supply. At 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, Green Acres will host “Garden Talk: Pruning” at all seven of its area locations. No advance registration is necessary.

Learn about the right tools for the right jobs. What’s the difference between bypass and anvil pruners and when should you use either? How do you determine where to make cuts? Why prune now – and when should you wait?

This class tackles all sorts of trees and shrubs. Winter pruning is recommended for many kinds of plants because it’s easier to see the framework of their branches (and pick out the dead wood) when those branches aren’t covered with foliage. The notable exceptions are apricot and cherry trees and spring-flowering shrubs such as lilacs.

“Learn when to prune and discover the right techniques from our pros,” says the host.

There will be plenty of time for questions, too. Got a tricky tree or shrub to prune? Bring photos on your phone.

Green Acres are located in Sacramento, Auburn, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin and Roseville.

For details and directions: https://idiggreenacres.com/.

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Garden Checklist for week of April 14

It's still not warm enough to transplant tomatoes directly in the ground, but we’re getting there.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden needs nutrients. Fertilize shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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