The Saguaro seems to be doing fine since we cut off much of the water supply around it and removed a few of its heavy arms that were contributing to it leaning toward one side. It was a fairly easy process that we did on our own and now that it’s been a few weeks we feel comfortable it will be fine. It even straightened up a bit!
So again, here’s what we did based on David’s (from Gardener’s World) suggestions:
- Using a limb pruner we removed three of the heavy arms that were all on one side of the cactus, leaving one on that side. the limb pruner was great because you can telescope the handle for reaching high places. Here’s a pic of it:
- Next we tossed a rope up and over the arm to be cut so we could pull it away from the house as it fell. We were also keeping an arm below those that were being cut so it was important to make sure the other arms didn’t hit it on the way down. To toss the rope we tied it to a whiffle ball to give it a little weight as we threw in up and over the arm. That way it came back down to us without getting snagged on the arm itself. Worked perfectly.
- Dave cut the arm while I held the rope. As soon as it started to give I pulled the rope to guide the arm down to the ground.
- Next we mixed up the soil acidifier that David had given us. It’s the consistency of tiny gravel and the goal is to turn in to a paste to roll on to the Saguaro where the arms were removed. He told us this would protect the newly exposed portion of the cactus from the elements. It takes a good 24 hours or more for it to break down so we mixed it up the afternoon before and by the time we needed it, it was properly diluted.
- The final step was to roll the past over the areas where the arms were removed. Luckily the Saguaro is close enough to the house that we were able to lean the ladder up against so we could reach the upper portion of the cactus. We used a mini paint roller that I found in the garage and it worked perfectly.
That was it! The Saguaro is looking MUCH better than about a month ago and we’re confident it will make it now that we’ve addressed the too much water issue and removed a few of its weighty arms. A little research on this problem ended up saving us about $600-800 which were the estimates all the specialists gave us to correct the problems.