Photographer's Note

This is a very old (approximately 200 years old) Saguaro cacti in the Saguaro National Park in Arizona USA. The Saguaro provide their sweet fruits to hungry desert animals. They also provide homes to a variety of birds, such as the Harris’ hawk, Gila woodpecker and the tiny elf owl. Yet, the saguaro requires other desert plants for its very survival. During the first few years of a very long life, a young saguaro needs the shade and protection of a nurse plant such as the palo verde tree. With an average life span of 150 years, a mature saguaro may grow to a height of 50 feet and weigh over 10 tons. They do not usually start getting their first branch until they are at least 70-75 years old.

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Additional Photos by Julie Wyatt (j_wyatt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 113 W: 55 N: 131] (685)
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