Archive for the ‘Ironwood’ Tag

A Nurse Tree By Any Other Name   2 comments

A Young Saguaro Cactus Has A Barrel Cactus As A Nurse Tree — Image by kenne

The Sonoran desert is the home of saguaro cacti. Often, for young saguaros to survive, they are located near another faster-growing tree that shelters the slower-growing plant by providing shade, shelter from the wind and sun, or protection from animals that may feed on the young plant. Such a plant is called a nurse tree. In the Sonoran desert, such trees are usually Palo Verde, Ironwood, or mesquite trees, which explains why young saguaros are often seen near trees. It is therefore unusual that a young saguaro would have a barrel cactus as its nurse tree. Let’s hope this quirk of nature works for both since both will be competing for resources, possibly hastening the death of the young slow-growing saguaro.

kenne

Saguaro Cactus That Have Out-Lived Their Nurse Tree — Image by kenne

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