Cactus Removal


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While cacti may be a beautiful part of the Southwestern landscape, they can also become a problem. Popular species of cacti such as barrel cactus, prickly pear cactus, and saguaro cactus can easily grow to be much larger than expected. Once that happens, it may be necessary to remove them from your property. However, Tucson cactus removal can be a difficult and even hazardous job. That’s when it’s time to call Action Yard & Tree Services. We have the experience and resources to ensure that your Tucson cactus removal gets completed in a timely and safe manner.

Tucson Cactus Removal
Cactus Removal

Why Is Tucson Cactus Removal Necessary?

It’s easy to see why many property owners want to have cacti in their yard, as they are quite beautiful. However, certain cacti⁠—such as saguaro⁠—tend to grow very large when on residential or commercial property. This is especially true if you have a yard that uses an irrigation system. In fact, some cacti will grow so large that their roots will no longer support them. As a result, they may start leaning to the side. Eventually, an overgrown, leaning cactus can come crashing down to the ground. This can inflict injuries on bystanders and damage to the property.

A cactus can also become sick as a result of diseases and pest infestations. In many cases, you may not even realize the cactus is diseased until it is too late to save it. In the meantime, however, the cactus’ stability has been undermined.

This can result in an extremely dangerous situation. If the cactus topples over, it can cause harm to anyone in its path. It can also cause damage to your desert landscaping. In addition, you’ll have to remove the fallen cactus from your yard. In other words, it’s best to call for professional Tucson cactus removal as soon as you have reason to believe that a cactus has been compromised. If you’d like to learn more about our services, then give us a call today!

Why Choose Us for Tucson Cactus Removal?

At Action Yard & Tree Services, our experts have years of experience. We have safely carried out Tucson cactus removal on numerous properties. Our top priorities are the safety of your family and pets, and the well-being of your landscape.

Our customers choose us not only because of our experience, but also because we have the tools and equipment necessary to get the job done correctly. We’ll ensure each Tucson cactus removal job is carried out to the letter of the law, with all necessary permits obtained from the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Lastly, our experienced team is known for exceptional professionalism and courtesy. We look forward to helping you improve the look and safety of your landscape.

Types of Cacti Found in Arizona

Arizona is home to numerous species of beautiful and iconic cacti. At Action Yard & Tree Services, we can safely conduct Tucson cactus removal on any species. Some of the cacti we work with most often include the following.

Saguaro Cactus
Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro cactus is the most iconic cactus of the Southwestern desert. It will grow to become exceptionally tall—between 15 and 50 feet. The saguaro cactus features a single trunk that grows to two feet in width. This type of cactus will only begin producing branches when it reaches about 50 years of age.

Golden Hedgehog Cactus

The golden hedgehog cactus grows prolifically throughout Pima County. It’s a relatively small, spreading species that features pale-yellowish spines and multiple stems that can grow up to two feet in height. These stems feature beautiful rosettes of very thick, three-inch spines. In the spring, the golden hedgehog cactus produces red or waxy lavender flowers. These will later give way to red fruit.

Golden Hedgehog Cactus
Arizona Barrel Cactus
Arizona Barrel Cactus

The barrel cactus gets its name from its thick, stocky appearance. It can be two feet in diameter and grow three to six feet tall. The barrel cactus is a pleasant olive green color, with deeply ribbed tissue and hooked spines. Look for reddish-orange flowers in mid-summer. You’ll most often find this plant in areas prone to periodic flooding, as well as in landscapes where homeowners have planted them for aesthetic appeal.

Prickly Pear Cactus

The Engelmann prickly pear is one of the most widely found prickly pear. It grows up to five feet tall and can spread to a width of 10 to 15 feet. It’s easily identifiable by the broad, flat pads. The prickly pear also features white, three-inch spines with barbed hairs. From May through June, you’ll find yellow flowers. Starting in July, the prickly pear bears bright red fruit known as tuna. Although the prickly pear is a beautiful addition to a residential or commercial landscape, it can sometimes grow too large for its allotted space. In addition, pack rats are known to build dens at the base of the plant.

Prickly Pear Cactus
Teddy Bear Cholla
Teddy Bear Cholla

Also known as the jumping cholla, this cactus has a fuzzy appearance due to its densely populated, downy spines. The teddy bear is a slow-growing cactus with a spectacular appearance. Its trunk features stubby branches that are home to its silvery-white spines. The teddy bear cholla grows about three to eight feet tall and wide. You’ll find greenish-yellow flowers during the spring and summer.

Although the teddy bear might have a cuddly appearance, never make the mistake of getting too close, as its spines will readily detach and bury themselves in your flesh. Homeowners often schedule Tucson cactus removal because of safety concerns. For example, if you have small children or pets, having a teddy bear cholla on your property can lead to serious injuries.

Organ Pipe Cactus

The beautiful organ pipe cactus gets its name from the many tall, slender branches that grow vertically from the base, resembling the distinctive features of an organ. The organ pipe cactus is the second tallest cactus of the columnar types, growing up to 23 feet tall. It is a night blooming plant. From May through July, it features flowers that open after sunset and close the next morning. When the fruits lose their spines, they are mature and can be eaten, processed into jelly, or fermented into a beverage.

Organ Pipe Cactus

FAQs and Answers About Yard Work in Tucson

Why is a saguaro cactus susceptible to falling down?

Quite often, it’s simply because the plant has become overgrown. A saguaro cactus will send roots in all directions in search of water. However, these roots stay relatively close to the surface. As a result, the cactus doesn’t have exceptional root support that holds it in place. When it becomes overgrown, its roots can no longer support it, and it can fall over without warning.

Are cacti susceptible to diseases?

Absolutely. One of the most prevalent diseases of the saguaro cactus is bacterial necrosis. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons why homeowners arrange for Tucson cactus removal at Action Yard & Tree Services. Bacterial necrosis most often affects the larger cacti, such as saguaro. It’s also been found in prickly pear, cholla, barrel, and organ pipe cacti. This infection may start on the trunk or branches. It will initially cause a softening and darkening of the plant tissue. Over time, the affected area will enlarge, turn purplish-black, and then split open.

Are Cacti Susceptible To Diseases?

Other diseases that may result in the need for Tucson cactus removal include the following:

  • Phyllosticta pad spot: This is a fungal infection that causes the appearance of black spots.
  • Anthracnose: This is a fungal infection that often affects agaves, particularly those that have been overwatered.
  • Pythium rot: This is an internal soft rot that affects barrel cacti, particularly the golden barrel. It’s caused by a soil-borne pathogen that favors moist conditions.
  • Opuntia Sammons’ virus: This is a viral infection that most often affects the Engelmann prickly pear cactus. It’s characterized by light yellow rings on the pads. Fortunately, most infections are mild and do not necessarily require the destruction of the cactus.
Which Insects Might Harm The Cacti On My Landscape?
Which insects might harm the cacti on my landscape?

The Southwestern desert is home to an astonishing array of insect life, including insects that attack native plants such as cacti. One of the reasons why it’s a great idea to call our team to install your landscaping is that we will closely inspect all plants for signs of pest infestations before planting them in your yard. This prevents the infestation from spreading to other plants in your landscape.

Some of the most common pests to watch out for on your cacti include the following:

  • Agave snout weevil: The adult agave snout weevil will readily attack any species of agave, although it prefers the larger Agave americana. The adult female enters the plant in order to lay her eggs. The injury to the plant tissue results in decay and tissue rot. Eventually, the infected plants will collapse and die. Watch out for a bug that looks brownish-black with a dull body and is about half an inch in length.
  • Cactus longhorn beetle: This insect attacks prickly pear, cholla, and other species of cacti. It eats around the margins of the pads or terminal buds, inflicting damage. It will also burrow into the cactus to lay eggs, resulting in the eventual collapse and death of the plant. The adult beetle is black, shiny, with white markings on the antennae.
  • Cochineal scale: This pest might look like a fungal infection at first blush, as the insect covers itself with a waxy, white coat that looks like cottony tufts. Initially, an infestation of cochineal scale is more of a nuisance than a serious problem. However, if left untreated, the insects can eventually weaken and kill the plant.

These are just a few of the pests that commonly attack cacti in Arizona. Our team can often treat insect infestations and salvage the plant. However, in severe cases, Tucson cactus removal may be necessary.

Is it lawful to remove a saguaro cactus?

Arizona state law and many municipal regulations protect the desert’s iconic plant life, including saguaro cacti. And yes, in certain circumstances, it’s illegal to remove a saguaro cactus (as well as other species of cacti). This is another reason why you’ll need to call our professionals to handle a Tucson cactus removal job. We’ll ensure that the removal is carried out to the letter of the law.

Homeowners do have the right to remove protected cacti from their privately owned land, but only if the plant is not being offered for sale or otherwise taken off the land for repurposing. In addition, a permit must be obtained from the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Other native plants that require a permit for removal include the following:

  • Organ pipe
  • Barrel
  • Cholla
  • Barrel
  • Agave
  • Prickly pear
  • Pincushion

As you can see, Tucson cactus removal can be a complicated job. It’s always best to call the pros to handle it for you. You can reach Action Yard & Tree Services at (520) 829-4791 to schedule an appointment.