OAKHURST — When she was younger, Linda Hancock and her siblings often played under the native oaks trees that grew on their parents’ property in North Fork. Today, Hancock is a Master Gardener in Madera County who volunteers to teach people about oak trees native to the mountain area and how to landscape under them.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, Hancock will present a workshop at the Oakhurst Branch Library — Landscaping under Native Oaks — from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the library’s Community Room located at 49044 Civic Circle Drive.
Hancock, who became a Master Gardener in 2015, says she was born into a family of farmers who grew mostly fruit trees in Camarillo, in Southern California, where she grew up.
“Obviously, there weren’t many oak trees where I grew up, although my dad did build us a tree house when we were younger. Later my parents moved to North Fork where they lived for 23 years on acreage where oak trees were plentiful,” she said.
Hancock says becoming a Master Gardener was a way she could volunteer to help her community understand the different varieties of oaks that grow in our area, as well as the diseases they are subject to – such as sudden oak death, for which there is yet no cure – and certain parasites. She also discusses the tree’s sensitivity to fire and its drought tolerance.
Hancock, who is now retired from the State of California, lives in the Madera Ranchos. She volunteers her services through the University of California’s Cooperative Extension program in Madera County.
Across California, the University of California’s 64 Cooperative Extension offices are local problem-solving centers. They are the bridge between local issues and the power of University of California research. Their county-based staff lives and works in the areas served by the cooperative.
According to the Cooperative Extension, thousands of volunteers like Hancock extend the reach of their work through the Master Gardener Program.
People with questions about gardening issues can call the Master Gardener’s of Madera County Hotline on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. at (559) 675-7879 ext. 7210.
The free workshop is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. For more information call (559) 683-4838 or visit Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library.