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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Where Have All the Saguaros Gone?

 
 
Where Have All the Saguaros Gone? Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 7, 2015
1. Where Have All the Saguaros Gone? Marker
Inscription. The view from this hill has changed a lot over the years. In the 1930s, this was the most spectacular cactus forest in Arizona. But no one knew that these aging giants were near the end of their lives. Today we speculate that mild weather in the late 1800s may have nurtured this forest of giants. Those who created Saguaro National Monument in 1933 believed the forest would last forever.

In February 1937, a cold front brought record low temperatures to Tucson. A few years later saguaros began to die at an alarming rate. For a decade, scientists and the public struggled to deal with the "cactus blight." Following another killing freeze in 1962, researchers realized that temperatures below freezing for more than 20 hours could kill saguaros.

Before 1980 almost no young saguaros could be found here. Predictions of doom were made: "the last saguaro will die in the 1990s." In 1979, the National Park Service acquired all grazing rights in the Cactus Forest. After decades of trampling by cattle, young saguaros began to sprout under palo verde and mesquite "nurse trees." The trend toward renewal continues today.

Photo captions:
Saguaro in 1935
Saguaro in 1960
Saguaro in 1985

 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location.
Where Have All the Saguaros Gone? Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 7, 2015
2. Where Have All the Saguaros Gone? Marker
32° 11.904′ N, 110° 44.098′ W. Marker is in Tucson, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker is on Cactus Forest Drive 1.8 miles north of South Old Spanish Trail, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is on Cactus Forest Drive inside of Saguaro National Park East. Marker is at or near this postal address: Cactus Forest Drive, Tucson AZ 85748, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Home for Saguaros (approx. 1.2 miles away); Desert Homes (approx. 2.6 miles away); Officer Erik Hite (approx. 4.4 miles away); Agua Caliente Ranch and Hot Springs (approx. 5.7 miles away); Airmen Memorial Bridge (approx. 6.9 miles away); Hacienda Moltacqua (approx. 7.3 miles away); Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird (approx. 8.8 miles away); Presidential Aircraft (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tucson.
 
Categories. EnvironmentHorticulture & Forestry
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 12, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 235 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 12, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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