Sunday, October 19, 2008

Small, tall and branched saguaros

Even giants start small. A small saguaro cactus starts with healthy growth while surrounded by nursing shrubs that protect the saguaro from browsing animals. Growing tall, up to about 40 feet, a giant saguaro may reach an age of 200 years. Nobody will mistake it for a barrel cactus anymore. It takes about a quarter of a saguaro's life-span to get productive and also to develop ascending branches, as seen in the image taken in Pima Canyon near Tucson, Arizona.

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