Elegant Survival: Saguaro National Park

Saguaro Forest Near Tucson, Arozona
In the Saguaro National Forest, Near Tuscon, Arizona: Elegant Cacti Surviving on Very Little Water

Saguaro cacti are elegant and unusually tough plants surviving with very little water and growing very tall. Each one has its own distinctive shape.  Some of the saguaros seem to be gesturing and beckoning, even waving at us sometimes. I have never seen plants or trees that are so individualistic. In my photo, you can see the saguaro cactus’  basic upright habit. These amazingly strong cacti definitely celebrate diversity, as each one mysteriously grows branches in a unique configuration. Look at them, but do not touch–they have very dangerous spikes that cover their surfaces like porcupine quills. In this cactus forest, there are plenty of warning signs for tourists. Just driving through the Saguaro National Park is a fantastic experience.

©M-J de Mesterton

From the National Parks Website, Lightly Edited:

Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona was first established in 1933 for the purpose of protecting the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantean) and the associated Sonoran Desert and Sky Island ecological areas. Following several park expansions in subsequent decades, the National Park Service continually works to preserve desert, mountain and riparian habitats in the Tucson and Rincon Mountains, as well as the largest roadless “sky island” in North America — all of which comprise a wide range of elevations that support extraordinary biodiversity.  78% of the Park’s 91,327 acres are federally-designated wilderness. Saguaro National Park  is being preserved, its  wilderness qualities protected, while understanding and stewardship of its natural resources are promoted through ongoing scientific research.

http://www.nps.gov/sagu/

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Tree-Mulching for Water-Conservation

Gardening with Trees in Dry Climates

Create a well inside the mulch-ring, and keep mulch pieces away from trunk as shown..

Dry-Climate Landscaping with Stone and Gravel Conserves Water

Landscaping in dry climates and during serious droughts that may be permanent is a challenge.
To conserve water and protect this fruit tree’s roots from drying heat as well as cold mountain weather, a classic Japanese gardening component, namely large gravel, was employed outside the initial wood-mulched ring around its trunk. Not only does gravel look gorgeous during the changing light of day and evening, but it inhibits the growth of competing plants–weeds and “volunteers” that steal precious water to survive. Gravel endures more than grass in dry climates, keeps dusty soil from blowing about, and always looks right.
©M-J de Mesterton

Tree-Mulching for Water-Conservation

Create a well within the mulch, keeping mulch away from the trunk.
Gardening with Trees in Dry Climates

Dry-Climate Landscaping with Stone and Gravel Conserves Water

Landscaping in dry climates and during serious droughts that may be permanent is a challenge.
To conserve water and protect this fruit tree’s roots from drying heat as well as cold mountain weather, a classic Japanese gardening component, namely large gravel, was employed outside the initial wood-mulched ring that sits twelve inches from its trunk. Not only does gravel look gorgeous during the changing light of day and evening, but it inhibits the growth of competing plants–weeds and “volunteers” that steal precious water to survive. Gravel endures more than grass in dry climates, keeps dusty soil from blowing about, and always looks right.
©M-J de Mesterton