Over 100 saguaros blow over at National Park West

Rangers are calling it a "blowdown event" during this weeks storms
Saguaro Fallen Desert.jpg
Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 01, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Rangers and scientists at the Saguaro National Park are still investigating how more than 100 cactuses toppled over this week.

Most of the saguaros fell down at the west park.

Rangers say it was the older cactuses that were more impacted by this week's storm as their height and arms make it easier for them to blow over in high winds.

An investigation into the cause is ongoing, but Park Ranger Perri Spreiser is calling it a “blowdown event”

“What happens is a really large gust of wind comes through a small area. And plants with large sails, so trees with large canopy and cactuses with many arms are caught in the wind and knocked over," Spreiser said.

Some saguaros looked like they had been chopped in half.

Despite the cactus carnage, Spreiser says this is a natural occurrence; and the park will let nature take it’s course.

“We will leave them, and we’ll allow the ecosystem to take control, break them down as they would, and let those nutrients go back into the environment," he added.

All trails are open, and rangers urge visitors not to try and walk through the brush to look at fallen cactus, but to instead view them from the road.