Holes in Saguaros and Saguaro Boot

Boot from the Carnigiea giganta (Saguaro)Someone was telling me other day that a friend had filled a hole in their Saguaro cactus with cement.  I wasn’t sure I’d heard this right, so I asked him to repeat and…YES!…someone had filled a hole in their Saguaro with cement.  Good gravy!

So…holes in Saguaros are mostly put there by birds (sometimes moths) seeking to nest.  The Gila Woodpecker drills smaller holes about halfway up the cactus, while the Gilded Flicker drills bigger holes up near the top of the Saguaro.  The birds may drive you crazy and the holes may look ugly, but it’s part of nature.  Think of it as a mini-nature preserve!

Anyway, those holes will eventually heal over into a hard callus in the shape of a “boot” to seal it off from the Saguaro’s water supply. Some Native Americans used these boots to carry water.  But beware…it is illegal to collect these boots from Arizona’s deserts.

 

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