Death of a Saguaro

It’s a sad day in the Sonoran Desert. We don’t complain about abundant rain in the desert—ever. Unfortunately, however, when the ground gets very soft it’s possible that a shallow-rooted giant will be unearthed. Such was the case for the 35-foot mature saguaro cactus in our back yard.

Boom. It fell to pieces.

We didn’t hear it fall, only discovered it dead on the desert floor. Looking at it all twisted and gnarled—broken and sad, it feels like we should get out police tape and make an outline.

The saguaro is a slow grower and takes a decade to grow its first inch. After 75 years it will grow arms. It’s exclusive to the Sonoran Desert and is protected by the Arizona Native Plant Law.

Clearly, Mother Nature has no respect for this law.

We knew this saguaro—number two of three on our property to go down since we’ve lived here—wasn’t in the best of health, and noticed it leaning like the Tower of Pisa for several months. We suspect it suffered from “saguaro rot,” which is a bacterial infection.

Regardless of the cause of death, we’re all saddened by the loss.

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