Another one bites the dust

saguaro fallen down

Another saguaro down.

We’ve lost three saguaros since we’ve moved here. The fourth one went down last week.

I was sitting by the window in the casita and glanced outside as a huge saguaro crashed to the ground. I was glad I wasn’t standing in the way! That was the first one we lost.

We called a cactus doctor and he walked around our yard diagnosing saguaros.

He found one with a disease and he recommended having it removed or the disease would spread to our other saguaros. That project included not only paying the cactus doctor, but getting a permit from the city. An inspector came out to look at the saguaro and signed off on the permit. Then we had to hire another company to cut down the saguaro and remove it. That was saguaro number two that bit the dust.

The third was in the front yard and one of our only ones with arms. It was turning brown from the base that was slowly creeping up. The cactus doctor told us we’d need to brace it if we wanted to keep it. A neighbor told us that the previous owners had that saguaro treated for something a couple times. One day we walked out the front door and it was down.

Then last week after all the rain and a big wind, this smaller one was laying on the ground. The cactus doctor told us that once they fall they are traumatized and can’t make it if they’re replanted. In spite of his words, I wish we would have tried to replant the first one that fell.

We asked our gardener to try to save this guy. There’s a crack along the crown but we hope it lives.

This saguaro has been given a chance to live.

What special plants or trees do you have that need attention?

Cacti update

giant saguaro.
View of a giant saguaro in our front yard.

The cactus doctor arrived Saturday evening to diagnose our fallen saguaro. He said it had been overwatered, got top heavy and crashed to the ground. Unfortunately, he said because of the trauma it suffered in the fall it wouldn’t survive being replanted.

Then he walked around our yard inspecting our other cacti. He drilled a hole in one saguaro and told us it had to be removed because it has bacterial necrosis. It’s leaning slightly and could crash into the house or damage the patio roof.

More bad news in the front yard. Our tallest saguaro with budding arms was declared dead. He said it died from vascular disease.

Saguaro with Bacterial Necrosis
This is the saguaro with bacterial necrosis.
Bacterial necrosis: this is where the cactus doctor took a chunk out of our cactus.

We learned that saguaros not only get water from their roots, but they have pores that open up in the day and absorb water from the air.

Another fact we learned was that a saguaro’s root system is twice the size of its height.

The doctor also told us how to spot native saguaro from ones that had been transplanted from other areas by the size of their bases.

dying saguaro
This is already dead. See how the base is brown and shrunken?

Not the news we were hoping for. Now we need to hire someone to take out two saguaros and remove the fallen one. At least the rest are healthy. I’m thankful for all the healthy succulents and cacti in our yard and that the bacteria seems to be only in one saguaro.

What are you thankful for today?

saguaro skeleton
I saw this saguaro skeleton Sunday on our walk. We may keep the fallen saguaro and the one in the front yard for their skeletons. They’d make interesting sculptures in our yard. The diseased one has to be hauled off.