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Upcoming Redbud Events


Trying to Reschedule for November 18, 2017

Field Trip Saturday, November 4, 2017
Fall Color at Rock Creek Trail

Rock Cree Field TripWhen: Saturday, November 4, 2017 9:00am
Where: Rock Creek Nature Trail
(off Highway 20, on Forest Road 20-3)

We visited this trail in the spring to appreciate the diversity of orchid species and are now returning to enjoy fall colors!

Early November is a great time to visit Rock Creek to see Mountain and Creek Dogwoods, Big Leaf Maples, California Hazelnuts, and other California Natives put on a show! 

Restrooms and picnic tables at trailhead.
This hike is suitable for children; we encourage families to attend.

Drive Highway 20 east from Nevada City for 6 miles. Make a left turn at the “Forestry Conservation Camp” sign and follow the paved road for about a mile. Look for the “Rock Creek Nature Trail” sign at the left turn. Drive about 1.5 miles of unpaved road to the trailhead parking.

Please RSVP:

Carpooling is encouraged so please let us know if you are interested in carpooling in the RSVP form and we will pick an appropriate location to meet.

Lots of water, sunscreen, rain gear/windbreaker, and hat. Plan to bring a sack lunch to extend the opportunity to continue native-plant conversations.

Redbud Plant Propagation Group

Native Plant Seed Exchange and Seed Propagation Workshop
(date and location to be determined based on interest). 

Grown from seedsMembers of the Redbud Propagation Group have been collecting seeds all summer and fall from a wide range of local native plants growing in our gardens.  We will bring these seeds to exchange and share tips on growing specific species. 

CEmail   to become a member of the Redbud Propagation Group, and to get details and/or register for this event.

Grown from seeds

Note:  We also hope to schedule a workshop on propagating native plants from cuttings if there is enough interest (date & location to be determined) -- we will need at least 12 confirmed registrants.  There will be a materials fee to cover the cost of rooting hormones, pots, and potting mix.  Cuttings from several varieties of local native plants will be available. Let us know if you are interested in participating in this propagation workshop by emailing

Past Events


The Redbud Chapter “Passionate about (Native) Plants”
Lecture Series

October, 2017 Lecture:

Tending the WildTM

Ethnobotany in California’s Mixed Conifer Forests
and Oak Woodlands

Guest Speaker

Dr. M. Kat Anderson

Kat Anderson Flyer


Wed., October 25, 2017
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

190 Finley St,
Auburn 95603

Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalist Church

 Dr. M. Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California's Natural Resources, will talk about the importance of California black oak and associate trees and understory species of the mixed conifer forests to the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada.  These plants were used for food, clothing, basketry, firewood, medicines, shelter, tools, and household utensils. The audience will learn about the legacy of stewardship from Sierran Tribes over thousands of years, using sustainable practices to increase food production and improve wildlife habitat.  For example, Black oaks were managed at the ecosystem level with frequent, low intensity Indian-set fires, in order to open up the forest, promoting widely-spaced, large-canopied, long-lived oaks and conifers. By using fire to open the forest, Sierran Tribes reduced insect pests and pathogens, improved the health of trees and other flora, fostered useful wild legumes, and encouraged edible and medicinal mushrooms. She will explore some of the potential results of indigenous stewardship that may contribute to forest health including enhanced mycorhizzal relationships with oaks and conifers, nutrient cycling, soil fertility, enhanced soil moisture-holding capacity, and biological action in the soil.

In explaining how the stewardship of the Sierran tribes helped to shape the oak woodlands and mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, Kat will highlight what we can learn from them to mitigate the decline of the forests and woodlands, and how we can work together with Sierran tribes to tend and restore forest health.

Kat Anderson

Kat Anderson has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from UC Berkeley and is the author of the book Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. She is an affiliate of the UC Davis Plant Sciences Department, and recently retired from the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Tending the WildTM was recently chosen by the celebrated permaculture designer Ben Falk as one of the most important books to read in order to permanently solve the world-wide problem of food security. Kat has worked with Native Americans for over 25 years, learning how indigenous people judiciously gather and steward native plants and ecosystems in the wild. Her interests are to learn, celebrate, and restore the traditional and indigenous practices around the world that support both sustainable food production and healthy forests, woodlands, grasslands, and riparian ecosystems. These plant use, gathering, and tending practices and their underlying ethical stances towards nature are found in multiple local cultures here and all around the world.


Attracting Pollinators Using California Native Plants

Creating Pollinator-Friendly Gardens
The Redbud Chapter Presents:

Nance Gilbert Pollinator Lecture


Nancy Gilbert
Wed., Sept. 27
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
980 Helling St.
Nevada City 95959
Madelyn Helling Library

Nancy will explain the dynamic relationships between flowers and their insect and bird pollinators.  She will also share strategies for sustaining pollinators, and for creating pollinator-friendly gardens using California Native Plants.

Nancy Gilbert


Nancy is a photographer and native plant specialist.  She is a co-author of the 1st and 2nd editions of the Redbud books “Wildflowers of Nevada and Placer Counties” and of the book “Trees and Shrubs of Nevada and Placer Counties.” Nancy serves as the Horticulture Chair for Redbud and often makes presentations on topics related to gardening with California Native plants, as well as their bird and insect pollinators.



Mycorrhizal Fungi and How They Feed the Forest

Blsvk ot Fire Morel

Guest Speaker:   Thea Chesney
When: Wednesday, August 23rd
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

Thea will explain the basics of mycorrhizal fungal-plant relationships, their diversity, and their critical roles in our forest ecosystems.

Mycorrhizal fungi entwine themselves around the fine root tips of plants. They exchange water and mineral nutrients, which they are extremely adept at gathering, for sugars produced by the photosynthetic plant. Not only are mycorrhizal partnerships nearly ubiquitous among plants and key to the plants’ survival, they are fascinating and complex in their own right. We are still learning about the many types of these mutualistic symbioses, the sophisticated chemical signaling and other mechanisms involved, and just how they affect the behavior of both plant and fungal partners.

Thea Chesney is a lifelong Placer County resident and naturalist. Since early childhood, she has had an interest in mushrooms, plants, and the rest of the natural world. She holds a B.S. in forestry from UC Berkeley, with an emphasis on botany and natural sciences. Her classes in forest pathology and mushroom identification led to a passion for taxonomy and a love of teaching. As a student, she worked in the Bruns mycology lab, and has since returned there to assist in teaching the mushroom identification course that helped set her on her current path.

Thea worked on a mushroom survey crew for the U.S. Forest Service around Mt. Shasta for several seasons, becoming intimately familiar with the fungal inhabitants and ecology of the area. Since then, she has continued as a seasonal botanist with the Forest Service on a long-term statewide meadow monitoring project. Though she now spends her summer days identifying sedges and other wetland plants, she still looks for mushrooms at every opportunity. She has a special interest in fungi of the Sierra Nevada and other California mountains and is currently working on a field guide to mushrooms of these understudied regions. In the winter, she travels to California mushroom events and teaches occasional local mushroom classes.

Plants of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Lewisii redivivaGuest speaker: Bob Case
When: Wednesday, June 28
7:00 to 8:30 p.m

Where: Auburn/Placer County Library
 Beecher Room
 350 Nevada Street, Auburn CA 95603

When Thomas Jefferson, in a visionary decision, purchased the Missouri watershed in 1803, he chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead the expedition. Over their journey of three years and 8,000 miles, they made notes, illustrations, and collections of plants, as well as other observations including geology and wildlife.

Today, the legacy of that journey includes 176 plant species new to science, many native to California. Bob Case will share with us this rich botanical treasure trove in photos and stories that make this “Greatest American Adventure” come alive. 

Bob will also participate in two Redbud field trips that will include species discovered by Lewis and Clark. On Wednesday, June 28, we will visit Sagehen Creek off Hwy 89, North of Truckee, and on Thursday, June 29, we will explore a portion of Page Meadows near Tahoe City.  Our CNPS Redbud website and our Facebook Events page will soon have info on these special outings.

Bob Case holds an MS degree from CSU San Francisco in Ecology and Systematics. He taught biology and environmental science in Bay Area community colleges for 25 years, and recently retired as Deputy Commissioner from the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture.  His photographs have appeared in many books and other publications. A CNPS member since 1972, Bob is Co-Chair of the CNPS Exotic Invasives Committee. Bob is a member of the California State Parks foundation, The Lewis and Clark Trail Foundation and the National Parks Foundation.

April, 2017 Lecture:

The Secrets of Ceanothus!

Guest Speaker: Photographer and Botanist Jeff Bisbee

When:  Wednesday, April 26th at 7 pm
Where: The Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way, Nevada City 95959


Does the old-fashioned nickname “California lilac” do a ceanothus justice?  Jeff Bisbee will explore the unique and fascinating world of ceanothus. Over 50 species of Ceanothus are native to California’s foothills, forests, and coasts, and a number are key features of urban and suburban landscapes.  Ranging from ground-hugging mats to small trees, Ceanothus are characterized by frothy flower displays in shades of blue, white, and lavender.  Learn about their widely-varied sizes and shapes, how to easily grow them from seed, and, of course, their diverse beauty.

Jeff, a freelance nature photographer and botanist whose work has been featured in numerous publications, will concentrate on local species. He’ll also share noteworthy examples from other parts of California.

Come to Redbud’s Next Spring Meet-up!

Saturday, April 15
Native Plant Communities
Celebrating California Native Plant Week

Spring Is Here!
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way, Nevada City

All are welcome, whatever your level of experience. Bring your questions and observations, and explore solutions and suggestions with Redbud CNPS experienced gardeners and fellow members. We’ll provide handouts, free seeds, and light refreshments.

RSVP to Interested in other topics? Should we schedule additional Meet-ups for Spring? Please let us know when you email your RSVP.

     Come to Redbud’s 3rd Winter Meet-up!

Wednesday, March 15
Your California Native Garden, Part 3
Spring Is Coming!

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

            Madelyn Helling Library -- 980 Helling Way, Nevada City

As winter begins to wane, you’ll want to focus on adding new natives to your garden. We’ll dig into learning planting techniques that increase success, covering topics such as:

  • What are good sources of native plants in spring?
  •  How do I know it’s time to plant? What should I plant early…and later?
  •  How do I know where to plant different species (e.g., soil, water, and sunlight needs)?
  • How should I prepare the soil? Should I use an organic fertilizer? What about compost?
  • What do I need to know about mycorrhizae?
  • Are there special requirements for transplanting native plants? 
  • Are there some that can’t be transplanted?
  • How big a hole should I dig?  What shape hole?
  • What should I do about drainage?
  • What irrigation solutions work well?

All are welcome, whatever your level of experience. Bring your questions and observations, and explore solutions and suggestions with Redbud CNPS experienced gardeners and fellow members. We’ll provide handouts, free seeds, and light refreshments.

Interested in other topics? Should we schedule additional Meet-ups for Spring? Please let us know when you email your RSVP to

The California Native Plant Society -- Redbud Chapter presents:

The Natural History of Bark Beetles & the Future of Our Forests


Bark Beetles

Wednesday, February 22nd 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Auburn/Placer County Library,
Beecher Room
350 Nevada Street, Auburn, CA 95603

 As the saying goes, "It's the small things that make a difference.” In our forests, small things — like beetles, wasps and fungi — are changing our landscape in big ways.

Come to this Passionate About (Native) Plants lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22nd at the Auburn/Placer County Library to learn about the natural history of the bark beetle and the future of our forests — how different our forests of the future will be.

Our speaker will be Chris Paulus, retired forester and Cal Fire Battalion Chief. He has worked with local Fire Safe Councils and residents on fire prevention, fire-safe landscape planning, bark-beetle identification and the possibility of mitigation, and options after the beetles.

This is a free public lecture sponsored by the CNPS Redbud Chapter, Nevada and Placer Counties.


Come to Redbud’s 2nd Winter Meet-up!
Wednesday, February 15

Your California Native Garden, Part 2 --
Getting Ready for Spring!

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Madelyn Helling Library -- 980 Helling Way, Nevada City

At our second Winter Meet-up, we’ll focus on preparing for successful spring growth of the natives you have, and getting ready to plant those you want to add to your garden.   We’ll cover topics such as …

  •  Deciding which natives to plant and where to put them (Come to our 3rd Meet-up on March 15th to talk about when & how to plant)
  •  When and how to prune California natives? which ones need or like pruning & which don’t?
  •  When should California natives be mulched to keep them healthy and conserve water?  What type and how much mulch?
  •  How to provide habitat for wildlife in winter (while protecting vulnerable native plants from hungry deer, rabbits, and other critters)?
  •  What are natural ways to control weeds (without herbicides)?
  •  How to protect against bark beetles, and what to do if the worst happens?
  •  How to mitigate negative impacts of neighbors’ properties and enhance the positive, such as impacts on your view, sunlight and drainage, pests and invasive plants, and fire safety.

All are welcome, whatever your level of experience. Bring your questions and observations, and explore solutions and suggestions with Redbud CNPS experienced gardeners and fellow members. We’ll provide handouts, free seeds, and light refreshments.

Interested in other topics? Should we schedule additional Meet-ups for Spring? Please let us know when you email your RSVP to


January 21st 2017:  First Redbud Meet-up

Your Native California Garden in Winter, Part I

Right now, you may not see anything happening in your native garden. But where you can't see, underground, native plants are already actively growing and getting ready for spring. 

On Saturday, January 21, we'll gather from 1:30 to 3:30 at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City to talk about how you can make the most of the winter months in your garden.

Depending on the group's interests, we'll talk about:

  • designing & planning your garden 
  • choosing, planting, & growing plants
  • winter care for your garden
  • trouble-shooting special problems, and more

All are welcome, whatever your level of experience.  Bring your questions and observations, and explore solutions and suggestions with Redbud CNPS experts and fellow members. We'll provide handouts, free seeds, and light refreshments.

Please RSVP to .