The 5 Most Difficult Cacti To Remove

Desert plants have a unique appearance and require little maintenance, which draws many people into planting a few of them in their backyards. But, overtime, some of them can become problematic and dangerous, so they must be removed. This is no easy task though. Read on for more information about five types of common cacti that are the most difficult to get rid of.

Cholla Cactus

The cholla cacti propagate by attaching themselves to passersby with spines covered with tiny barbs. If one should happen to get any of these spines in their skin, it usually requires an emergency room visit to get them out. Because of this, most people don’t want to have them on their property. Removing cholla cacti is a daunting task though. They have to be cut down to the stump, which must be burned afterwards. Any pieces of the cacti have to be removed from the area because they will sprout into new plants if left on the ground. Some people use mechanical devices to do this, but it usually just helps to further propagate them, so it has to be dangerously done by hand.

Prickly Pear Cactus

This type of cactus is widespread throughout the southern United States because it propagates so easily. Mowing it down in a pasture by use of a tractor will only cause it to form a vast array of more plants from the tiny cuttings that are created. It has to be controlled through the use of herbicides, which unfortunately also kills off surrounding vegetation as well. Some people apply expensive diesel fuel directly to the plants in a desperate attempt to eradicate them.

The 5 Most Difficult Cacti To Remove

Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro cactus is the largest type of cactus in the world. It reaches upwards of 50 feet in height and can live to be over 200 years old. The saguaro’s root system can become stronger in the direction of water and food that it is trying to reach, which can make the cactus lean and become unstable. Should it fall on a person, it could seriously injure them. The staggering height of the plant makes it difficult to be removed by an inexperienced person though. It usually requires a professional with special equipment to take it out.

Yucca Cactus

The root system of the yucca plant is so extensive that it is next to impossible to remove the plant entirely. Once initially cut down to its base, several more new plants will sprout up along the hidden roots. If those are cut down, more will grow. To kill it off, all plant growth must be removed, and then, the area must be covered with a thick layer of cardboard and mulch for at least one year.

Agave Cactus

Though beautiful and symbolic of the desert, the agave has sharp razor-like edges and spines that can cause injuries. It too has a complex root system. One mother plant will produce several surrounding pups. Once those mature, they will produce pups of their own. And in time, the agave can overtake a yard. Removing them is dangerous and requires heavy leather gloves and protective clothing.

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