How Do The Professionals Remove A Saguaro Cactus?
With the possibility of growing as tall as 60 feet and weighing as much as 4,800 pounds, a saguaro cactus is a formidable plant. Time, rain, animals and bacteria can cause these cacti to lean or fall over. Saguaro’s have a complex root system that spreads wide and deep in the ground, helping it to search for water. Unfortunately, this complex system can also make them unstable.
When the cactus begins to lean, they can fall over without any warning. A cactus of this size can seriously damage a home, car or a person. Professional with experience in cactus removal are often called in to remove saguaros before any damage occurs. Saguaros are removed much like large trees, as detailed in the steps below.
1. Saguaro Arms are Removed
Using a chainsaw, each arm of the saguaro must first be cut and removed from the cactus. A saguaro can grow up to 25 arms, so care must be taken to remove each one carefully. Depending on the size of the arms, these may need to be cut into sections due to their heavy weight. As each piece is cut off, it must be handed to another person and placed into a wheelbarrow for safe removal. Because the spines of the cactus fall out as it deteriorates, prompt removal is necessary. Depending on the height of the cactus, a lift may need to be used in order to reach each arm.
If desired, the arms can be treated and then transplanted to another place in the yard. Only old saguaro cactus bloom, and when they do bloom, they are often too tall for people to see. Planting an older arm that has the potential to bloom can add beauty to the landscaping.
2. Trunk is Cut and Removed
Once all of the arms are removed, the trunk of the cactus must be cut into pieces using the chainsaw. Proper safety gear, including glasses and heavy gloves, are always worn during this process. The cactus trunk is removed by cutting it every eight to twelve inches, depending on the weight and size of the cactus. The cactus is cut down to the base, leaving what looks much like a tree stump.
If the pieces are unable to be hauled away immediately, they can be covered with twelve inches or more of manure. This will help the pads of the cactus to decompose, usually within six months.
3. Stump is Ground
A grinder can next be used to remove the stump of the saguaro. Stumps can be unsightly, cause safety hazards if tripped over and will allow the space to be used for future planting. A stump grinder has a cutter wheel that can penetrate approximately eight inches to the ground, removing the uppermost part of the stump. After it is ground and turned into mulch, fresh dirt is placed over the remaining stump, where it will eventually settle into the surrounding topsoil.
4. Roots are Removed and Destroyed
Cactus roots will continue to grow after the rest of the cactus is cut, searching for water and nutrients in the yard or home. For this reason, they must be removed. Using a spade, the area surrounding the saguaro is dug up and the roots are broken up and removed, ensuring that no further growth will occur.
Saguaros can add majestic beauty to desert landscaping. When they lean, however, it’s time for them to be removed, keeping the home, car and those who live there safe.
If you’re interested in cactus removal try out American Tree Masters. They are a full service cactus, tree, and stump removal company who have been around for years! They pride themselves on their work and professionalism to get a job done.