Why Are Saguaro Cactus Protected

Arizona is home to more than 3,000 different types of ferns and flowering plants, many of which are legally protected. Cacti and other uncommon and culturally significant plant species are covered by the Arizona Native Plant Law. Desert plants are shielded by the law from theft, vandalism, and “On any lands, there should be no needless removal or destruction.

The Arizona Native Plant Law covers four categories of protected plants, including “Highly Protected species These species of plants, including saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea), are endangered or in risk of going extinct. The cactus and its fruits, seeds, and cuttings are all protected by the Arizona Native Plant Law.

Why are saguaro cacti so difficult to chop down?

Although some of these may seem absurd, they are all regarded as felonies in Arizona. 25 years in prison for chopping down a saguaro cactus

In the event that you want to remove the plant, the department will tag and place a permit on it.

A felony criminal-damage accusation may be brought against you if it is discovered that you cut or removed a saguaro from your property.

Although it goes without saying that it is illegal to possess or produce true cocaine, did you know that producing fake cocaine is also illegal?

If you are discovered manufacturing fake cocaine, there is an outdated legislation that could result in criminal charges.

However, these days, you’re more likely to run into trouble with the hotel staff or the fashion police than with the actual law.

But if you break the law while wearing a red mask, you could be charged with a misdemeanor.

Like the most of the offenses on the list, this one is governed by a mysterious legislation that has managed to endure.

The American government sent camel herds to Texas and Arizona in the late 1800s to aid in the transportation of cargo.

As a result, it is against the law to hunt camels in Arizona, and doing so will result in your arrest.

It’s unlikely that you will see any camels wandering down the road, though.

If you do happen to find yourself hunting a camel, it’s most likely on someone else’s land, which is a very different circumstance.

The majority of these crimes are only actually crimes because the legislation hasn’t been updated, making it extremely improbable that most individuals will even commit any of them.

However, cutting or removing a saguaro happens more more frequently than one might imagine and is still illegal.

Call the Tyler Allen Law Firm right away if you need a reputable criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix.

Is it prohibited to remove a saguaro cactus that is dead?

Before visiting any land to remove natural resources, be sure you have written permission in your possession. Once more, the Arizona native plant statute does not provide protection for cactus skeletons or any other dead plant or plant parts.

At what point did the saguaro cactus gain protection?

The region was designated as a national monument more than 61 years before Saguaro National Park was established. On March 1, 1933, Herbert Hoover gave his approval for this classification in an effort to safeguard the saguaro cactus, a representation of the Southwest and the Sonoran Desert. With this choice, a national monument was created for the first time to safeguard a particular species. President Law Clinton formally signed a bill designating Saguaro as the 52nd national park after years of environmental diversification and expansion. The park turns 18 years old this coming Sunday, October 14.

Since 1933, Saguaro’s vegetation, landscape, and animals have undergone numerous changes. Saguaro National Monument was initially situated in the Rincon Mountain District. Since then, the region has grown by 3,500 acres, a wilderness area, and a second mountain district. The park now consists of two large areas that are separated by roughly 40 miles. For guests and the species that call Saguaro home, the western Tucson Mountain District and the eastern Rincon Mountain District each offer a distinctive environment.

Although both areas are home to the famous saguaro cactus, they have different landscapes and ecological compositions. Tucson, the more recent district, has an elevation range of roughly 2,200 feet to almost 4,700 feet and has two distinct desert ecosystems: desert grassland and desert scrub. Among the typical species in this area are coyotes, quail, and the desert tortoise. The Rincon Mountains, in contrast, have peaks that are nearly 8,700 feet higher than those in Tucson and have six distinct ecosystems, from Sonoran Desert scrub to mixed conifer forests at higher altitudes. There are a wide variety of creatures present, including black bears, Arizona mountain king snakes, and white-tailed deer, because to the elevation and different biotic ecosystems.

Due to the emergence of wildflowers, birds, and other desert life in the spring, this is a busy season for tourists. May and June are when the saguaro cactus flower blooms, which has served as Arizona’s official flower since 1931. Visitors should make use of the numerous hikes, drives, and tours that Saguaro has to offer. Bajada Loop Drive is one of the many beautiful roads in the Tucson District. Bajada, a six-mile route across the western Saguaro region, passes through extensive cactus clumps and directs visitors to short climbs and easy picnic spots. Cactus Forest Drive, an eight-mile road around the Rincon Mountain District clockwise, is accessible to those seeking wildlife and nature walks if they head east.

P.S. Surprisingly, neither of the two co-champion saguaro cactus in the country are in the park itself, but they are close by. They are where? To learn more, visit our Big Tree section.

Are saguaro cacti protected by the government?

The long-lived saguaro cactus is primarily impacted by long-term drought and frost cycles in the climate. Saguaros are not vulnerable to blights, despite common belief that they have a “disease” that dates back over fifty years. The saguaro is a typical Sonoran Desert plant and is not a threatened species.

Without a doubt, the saguaro is most at risk from the fast growing human population. There has been a significant loss of saguaro habitat as a result of the construction of new homes in the Tucson area.

Another threat to the exotic saguaro plants has emerged as a result of this population increase. For the limited supply of water and nutrients, exotic plants nearly invariably outcompete native plants. Buffelgrass, fountain grass, and red brome are three examples of exotic species that have contributed to an increase in desert wildfires, which have harmed or killed native vegetation, including saguaro cacti.

Because they were not frequently affected by fires in the past, saguaro and other cactus are not adapted to a fire regime. The natural desert grasses were scant and did not carry a fire very far before exotic grasses were introduced for landscaping and as fodder for livestock. So a lightning strike would have only ignited a small portion of the fire before it ran out of fuel.

Vandalism, cactus stealing, and attempted transplants are a few more dangers facing the saguaro. The removal of any plant from national park lands is prohibited, and the saguaro is just one of several Arizonan species that are protected under the Native Plant Protection Act. Additionally, whether federal, state, tribal, or private, all of the land in the state is held by someone.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture must issue a permit and the landowner must give consent before removing native plants from any property. By getting the necessary authorization from the Arizona Department of Agriculture, homeowners who wish to relocate a saguaro (or any other native plant that is protected) on their own property may also do so. [There is no connection to the National Park Service.]

How much is a saguaro cactus 20 feet tall worth?

Southwest Arizona, western Sonora, Mexico, and even a few locations in southeast California are home to saguaro cacti. They are typically found in the northern regions on slopes that face south, where the sun shines more frequently. The Saguaro Cactus is covered in protecting needles and bears a red fruit in the summer as well as tiny white blooms in the late spring.

Only in the Sonoran Desert does the suguaro cactus, also known as Carnegiea Gigantea, flourish.

A Saguaro will only grow about one to one and a half inches in its first eight years.

Moving a saguaro cactus off of private or public land without a permit is against the law in Arizona.

Saguaro cactus roots spread out like an accordion to take in as much water as they can.

Arizona’s state flower is the saguaro bloom, which blooms only after a saguaro has reached the age of 35.


The saguaro is a unique species of plant that can get rather big yet develops extremely slowly. The saguaro’s weight and height are often astounding, and the plant’s beauty is emblematic and significant to the magnificent state of Arizona.

  • Arizona has rules and limitations on the gathering, harvesting, and disposal of these cactus. To learn more about the rules that apply to your region, get in touch with your neighborhood government.
  • The Saguaro can survive for 150 to 200 years in the appropriate growing circumstances.
  • The cactus has one major root that extends down approximately 2 feet while the remaining roots all extend out till they reach the height of the plant and only go down about 5 inches.
  • Saguaro growth is particularly slow. A saguaro may only be 1.5 inches tall after a whole decade of growth. They can potentially grow to a height of 40–60 feet under the right circumstances! After a rainy season, a completely hydrated Saguaro may weigh between 3,200 and 4,800 pounds.
  • Arizona legislation allows for the collection of saguaro “ribs,” which are used to create jewelry, furniture, roofs, fences, picture frames, and other things. Even the Native Americans used the ribs as water containers before the canteen was created.


According to DFRanchandGardens, the average price of a saguaro cactus in the US for 2020 is between $20 and $2,000 per foot.

The saguaro will cost less the smaller it is, according to osieOnTheHouse. However, if they are merely spears and in good condition, they typically sell for $100 or more per foot. The price of saguaros with arms is higher.

What transpires if a saguaro cactus is touched?

A. The 78-foot-tallest saguaro ever measured fell over in 1986. There isn’t a particular saguaro in the park that is known to be the tallest in the vicinity. Check around the Loma Verde loop in the park’s East District if you’re seeking for tall Saguaros.

Are the spines of cacti poisonous? A. Cactus spines are not dangerous or venomous, but they can nevertheless pierce skin and cause an infection just like any other type of wound. Use cautious before touching anything!

A. Saguaros are a cactus that grows very slowly. In the first eight years of its life, a saguaro grows between 1 and 1.5 inches in Saguaro National Park, according to studies. more

A. The picnic spots in Saguaro National Park do not accept reservations. First come, first served applies.

2. Having picnics with parties of 20 or more people

3. Retreats from religion

4. The scattering of human cadavers

Prior to the actual date sought, a special use permit must be filled out and submitted to the park. All recreational special use licenses have a $100 (minimum) processing charge.

What are the prices of saguaro skeletons?

When the enormous cactus that some yahoo was shooting at fell over and crushed him to death back in the 1980s, do you remember that incident? We do, and we would have been the first to give the cactus a prickly high-five had it lived.

We don’t know what happened to that cactus, but we hope the people at Spur Cross Gallery gave it a warm place to live. The owners of the gallery have been salvaging downed saguaros and turning them into stunning works of art for more than 17 years. (Never attempt this yourself! Without a permit, it is against the law to remove saguaros from the desert, alive or dead, and no licenses have been issued since 1991.)

The grandeur of these formerly green giants, now reduced to skeletal forms of wood bleached gray, white, and yellow, cannot help but move people. They soar from the Gallery’s apex, lounge against its walls and ceiling, and adorn its chilly interior.

Some are constructed into wall sconces and are small and smooth. Some are medium in size and have been hollowed out so that a light bulb may be installed inside. The oldest and largest are unaltered; their long arms still reach for the sky, and their withered bases like melted candles.

Such beauty is expensive. Spend $200 on smaller specimens and up to $8,000 on the 20-foot largest cactus in the gallery. (We’ll hold off on any “sticker price” jokes out of respect for botanical propriety.)