The Ultimate Sacrifice   2 comments

Tuesday Nature Walk HDR blog-“The Ultimate Sacrifice” — Image by kenne

It is common when leading nature walks in Sabino Canyon to talk about the signature cactus of the Sonoran desert, the saguaro. One of the common bits of information is to point out how the young saguaros are near trees that help provide protection to this very slow-growing Sonoran desert plant. These trees can be mesquite, palo verde or ironwood trees, and are referred to as “nurse trees.” The faster-growing nurse tree provides shade and shelter from the harsh desert elements, and as the saguaro grows, becoming more acclimated to the desert sun, the nurse tree may die, leaving the saguaro alone. As the saguaro grows larger it may compete for resources with its nurse tree, especially where several saguaros are receiving protection from the same tree, which may hasten its death. Even so, the faster-growing tree will not outlive the typical life of a saguaro cactus.


“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” 

― Mitch Albom

2 responses to “The Ultimate Sacrifice

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  1. As many times as I’ve traveled in saguaro country I never knew about nurse trees, Kenne. This is worth knowing! Great photography as usual.


  2. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    This old “nurse tree” helped raise a family of saguaros from seedlings to mature plants. — kenne


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