The Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society Cactus Rescue Crew saves cacti and other native plants that would otherwise be destroyed during the development of Arizona real estate. We do not remove plants from private residences.
Often, many viable and transplantable native plants are simply cleared away with other desert vegetation during construction. Since 1999, we have accomplished 327 rescues with volunteers putting in 22,979 hours, and over 66,924 native plants have been saved and provided new homes throughout Arizona. Plants are sold to the public at various sales through out the year (see our Cactus Rescue Sales page). These sales recover the cost of Arizona Department of Agriculture permits and tags and raise funds to further our educational efforts.
efforts are supplemental to the on-site retention or other salvage
that may be required by the development permits. Through our alliance
with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, we are able to assist with
issues associated with Specially Protected and Endangered Species
of cacti and succulents as well as routine salvaging of the more
traditional barrels, hedgehogs, pincushions, ocotillo, small saguaros,
etc. that may occur.
By providing these plants at minimal cost to homeowners and institutions
in Tucson, we not only save these plants, but reduce the demand
that might result in illegal collection of established plants.
To see a list of the plants currently available, visit our Rescued
Watch this animated GIF to see how a 10 foot tall Saguaro is moved by the TCSS Cactus Rescue Crew!
To learn more about our cactus rescue program:
- We have Windows Media File movies with details and lots of visuals. These are large files, so only download if you have a broadband connection:
- Chris Monrad, our Cactus Rescue chairman, recently had an article on our project published in the Arizona Society of Civil Engineers monthly magazine, The Arizona Civil Engineer. Follow this link to read his Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society article.
- We have a PDF file with details on our efforts.
- Visit our FAQ page for common questions.
For information about the legal aspects of cactus rescues:
How to get on our Sale Notification EMail List
Send an email to us (Cactus@TucsonCactus.org) and indicate you want to be added to the Sale Notification List. We will notify you as to the type of cacti for sale and location. We no longer maintain wait lists for Ocotillo and Saguaros as we seldom acquire them and have a huge demand for them when we do get them (we usually limit one or two per family)
Please note that we do not ship or take orders for rescued cacti. Contact our Member Nurseries for such services.
How to get on our Cactus Rescue Crew Notification EMail List
TCSS Members who would like to be notified (emailed every Thursday) about Cactus Rescues the following weekend, can send an email to us (Cactus@TucsonCactus.org) requesting their email be placed on our Cactus Rescue Crew list.
You must be a paid up TCSS member to be added to the List and to be able to participate on Cactus Rescues.
We have two downloadable PDF publications to help you plant and care for your rescued plants:
How to Plant & Care for Your New Ocotillo
How to Plant & Care for Saguaro, Barrel or Hedgehog Cactus