Dig this: Trees, plants to be auctioned Saturday

Get going to get growing Saturday at the Colorado State University Extension Office tree auction and plant sale.

For the past 15 years, the extension office, located at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, 2775 U.S. Highway 50, has hosted a tree auction. The sale helps residents purchase trees at reduced rates and proceeds of the event go to the master gardener program. The digging runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the tree auction starts at 10 a.m.

New this year is an opportunity to dig up some plants at the arboretum and purchase other plants dug from the yard of a local master gardener. Costs ranging from roughly $1 to $20 per plant.

“Folks that want to come and dig up a plant can come and bring their shovel and have some plants for their own home,” Advanced Master Gardener Jerry Brin said.

Some plants available for the U-Dig-It Shovel Sale include a number of varieties of mature lavender plants, salvia and columbines, among other plants, Brin said.

Officials at the Extension Office want to reduce their plant collection in preparation for possible renovations at the arboretum, he said.

Workers at the Extension Office never really know in advance what types of trees it will offer during the auction. That’s because the trees are donated from a number of nurseries, Brin said. He said some larger, “balled and burlapped” trees will be up for auction. The Extension Office can provide assistance with getting the trees onto trailers, and the agency created a list of local workers that tree buyers can hire to help plant the trees.

About 200 plants that are available for sale were dug from the yard of a local master gardener. Brin said those plants include boxwood, several iris varieties and a number of blooming mums.

Proceeds from the plant sale will go toward the creation of a junior gardener program.

Proceeds from the annual tree auction benefit the master gardener program offered by the Extension Office. Those who complete the 11-week master gardener course volunteer at least 50 hours in the first year helping to promote horticulture.

For more information on the tree auction and plant sale or the master gardener program, call the Mesa County CSU extension office at 244-1836.


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