Here is a practical guide on cactus removal, including the costs involved.
Cacti mostly have thick herbaceous or woody chlorophyll-containing stems.
Over 1700 species of this plant are known. One thing these plants are well known for is their adaptability to arid climates. Such adaptability makes them suitable for different climates.
Cacti are part of ornamental plants grown around homes.
People have different reasons for removing certain plants from their surroundings. Whatever your reasons are, you’ll need the right guidance on how to proceed.
This is especially useful for those seeking to perform the process via DIY. You’ll need to read through these details and more.
Reasons for Removing Cactus Plant(s)
Cacti are common plants that form the landscape of certain locations, especially in the Southwest.
While homeowners may wish to have these plants grown in their yard, there are times when removal becomes necessary for good reason.
So, what are common reasons that influence cactus removal?
These reasons range from infection, cacti growing too large, and also the likelihood of falling over from weakening.
Any of these conditions are likely to result, hence requiring action on your part to have the plant safely removed.
Let’s further discuss each of these reasons before proceeding.
i. Cactus Becomes Infected
Like most plants, cacti are vulnerable to a wide range of diseases.
Examples of common diseases include dry & wet rot, cactus mosaic virus, bacterial soft rot, root rot, pad spot, anthracnose, and botrytis blight, among several others.
Often, these diseases aren’t spotted early until they worsen and can’t be treated. Here, an arborist may require removing these plants as the best treatment approach.
Cactus removal depends on the spread of the disease as well as the risk posed to other cacti and plants around.
ii. Grows too Large
Another reason why cactus removal may be needed is when the plant has grown too large.
Mostly, these are grown as ornamental plants around a home. It remains appealing as long as its size is within an acceptable range. However, it’s considered a problem when it grows too large.
Here, the space around the house may be inadequate for such a large plant. This could end up looking awkward, thus requiring removal.
While some homeowners may love to have large cacti around, most people wouldn’t. Here, your perspective is all that matters.
iii. Likelihood of Toppling Over
For anyone, safety cannot be negotiated as it’s considered paramount.
Weakened plants within a property are likely to fall over when not urgently removed. Instead of waiting for this to happen, it becomes necessary to take action by calling for its removal.
The weakening of cacti plants may be due to diseases or overgrown plants whose roots cannot hold firmly in place. When these plants fall, they could cause injuries, property damage, and even death.
All of these risks can be eliminated through removal.
DIY vs. Professional Cactus Removal
Whatever your reasons are for needing cactus removal, you have to decide what approaches to take to get rid of these plants from your yard safely. There are two broad approaches you can adopt to get the job done.
They include DIY techniques, as well as calling the pros.
DIY enthusiasts will always seek to try their hands-on jobs such as this.
While this approach can be satisfying or personally rewarding, you may encounter problems with the removal process, especially when the cactus plant is large.
Such a plant could end up falling on your property, thus causing damage.
There’s also the aspect of not having adequate training and experience to carry out the project. You need to be able to get all the tools needed with safety gear.
What more? Knowing how to use such tools effectively is necessary. For persons with little time on their hands to spare, the other option will be preferred.
Unlike the DIY technique of cactus removal, calling a pro eliminates the stress as you only need to point to the plant for the pros to get started. Of course, removing cacti through this option will cost money.
The benefit of professional removal is that the job is thoroughly done as expected.
How to Remove a Cactus Plant
To start the removal process, you’ll need to take your safety seriously.
This involves putting on safety gear such as heavy-duty gloves, protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts & pants, as well as safety goggles. With these gears, you’re ready to proceed with the removal process.
Now there are two cactus removal methods; the physical and the chemical. Both of this help achieve the same objective. Let’s take a look at what they are.
i. Physical Cactus Removal
Here, you need appropriate cutting tools like a chainsaw or an ax.
Secure the area to ensure no kids or pets are close by. Next, cut through the plant horizontally until it falls. You need to observe and determine the angle this plant will fall.
This is especially true for large cacti.
You’ll need a box or wheelbarrow to place the pieces of cactus you cut. Another way to cut this plant is by starting from the top (for smaller cacti). Cut pieces horizontally as you move downward.
Haul these pieces off before returning to the roots.
With the help of a spade, dig up the roots and have them pulled out. These roots must be completely removed as they can continue to grow.
ii. Chemical Cactus Removal
Chemical removal of cactus requires the use or application of herbicide spray mix.
This should contain picloram to get desired results. To prepare your herbicide solution, you’ll need a non-ionic surfactant or dishwasher with a concentration of around ¼.
Now the cactus plant will require some chopping or damaging to allow the herbicide to penetrate to a greater degree. Now spray your solution around the plant, covering the stem and other parts.
If this seems too much work, consider calling a pro to provide comprehensive treatments.
How Much Does Cactus Removal Cost?
The average cost of removing a cactus plant can range from $300 – #2500. This price is dependent on the plant size, location, and the services involved.
In our discussion, we’ve seen the different aspects of cactus removal. Here, the reasons for removal and methods used have been discussed.
With the tips provided, you should be able to get the job done without much difficulty.