We are learning more about the Desert Hot Springs cactus that is over two stories tall. We first shared this story with you earlier this week, about neighbors wanting to learn how to preserve and protect the prickly giant.
Now, experts have contacted our station and are shedding light on just how old this cactus may be and how long it could stick around.
“That cactus grows 6 inches a year, so could you imagine how much history is behind that cactus,” exclaimed Judy Edwards, resident of Desert Hot Springs
Neighbors in Desert Hot Springs reached out to NBC Palm Springs to bring awareness to this cactus and hopefully get some answers.
“Some expert said that it’s 20,000 pounds, it’s over 200 years old and worth about $400,000 thousand dollars,” explained Andras Bodo, resident of Desert Hot Springs
After seeing the cactus on TV and studying pictures, local experts from all seasons tree specialists are sharing what they know about the giant saguaro cactus.
“The cactus is anywhere from 150 to about 200 years old, it has a couple of arms and those arms take about 75 to 100 years to develop,” said Julia Dibernardo, Arborist with All Seasons Tree Specialist.
With the saguaro cactus being the largest in the United States, Dibernardo explains how they are rooted into the ground.
“The cactus has a taproot that is about 1 to 3 feet, with a cactus this old and established and mature that’s definitely more within that three feet range, and they have feeder roots which extend,” said Dibernardo.
Roots that neighbors fear might not withstand the wind, but experts say that the old cactus should be okay as it appears people have been preserving the tree for years, building around it.
“In the Sonoran Desert or in the Arizona area, it’s very typical for them to build around, even freeways and highways are built around the saguaro cactuses because they are so protected and loved,” explained Dibernardo.
“The cactus is just beautiful and I just feel like I’ve never seen one that big,” said Edwards.