Destination: Forever Ranch and Gardens

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Over the course of the past couple of years, it has become obvious that there is a certain market in the desert southwest for the rescue, removal, and transplanting of larger specimen-type plants. There are many reasons for this sort of activity, including ones such as the fact that wild plants are frequently endangered by new development; landscape renovation that is incompatible with cactus and succulent plantings; and the fact that certain people simply donít like spiny vegetables occupying their yards, but have to deal with ones that were planted by the prior owner of the house they just purchased. Even without a web page dedicated to the process of cactus salvage and rescue, we have been getting requests from various individuals to come and get a large saguaro of some other similarly difficult-to-move plant from the location it is currently in.

After receiving a number of such queries about transplanting large saguaros and other specimen-sized succulents (including organ pipe cactus, large agaves, and oodles of prickly pears) we here at Destination:Forever Ranch have elected to go into the cactus rescue business on an erstwhile basis. The reason for this is several-fold: One is to save these large and slow-growing plants from destruction. Another is that this represents an excellent way for us to obtain high-quality, healthy, and mature specimen plants for the newly-developing gardens out at D:FR; and a third reason is that it helps us to financially support the future development of the gardens by selling any plants that are not needed for the project at this time.

Frankentrailer with its lifting mechanism in the stowed position

 In time, we decided that this was a good enough opportunity to create a special trailer for the specific purpose of lifting and hauling large saguaros, up to three at once. Thus we commissioned the genesis of what is affectionately being referred to as Frankentrailer. Frank is also capable of being adapted to move many larger columnar-type cacti, including large multi-stemmed Cereus peruvianus or organ pipe cactus as well, although his specialty is saguaros. Here are a couple of photos of Frank in action, moving a large 20-foot tall specimen in December 2002.






With a cradle and a 20 footer loaded for transport

 If you have a mature and ungainly larger cactus or succulent plant of some type that you need to move for any reason, please email D:FR General Manager Jan Emming at  We will be happy to discuss your situation with you, and help in any way we can. We will  readily adopt many plants that you wish to save from death or destruction by development, or that have become too large for your yard. (This happens quite frequently with people who underestimate the mature height and diameter of that little cactus 20 years after planting time.) Or perhaps you are in need of transplanting services for a plant that you wish to keep, but must relocate from one yard to another when you move. If you think that any of these services might benefit you or your plant, please email us and we will consider the possibilities. 

In this same vein, we do occasionally purchase plants from both cultivated and wild sources. Our interest is not necessarily limited to saguaros and other large columnar cacti, but extends to barrel cactus, agaves (century plants), old man cactus, yuccas and Joshua trees, ocotillos, aloes, and many other types too numerous to mention here. We do, of course, appreciate donations to the gardens here at D:FR, but are in certain cases able to pay for plant materials. This does depend upon a number of factors like the size, quality, and rarity of the plants being offered, and there are too many variables to predict in advance what is going to happen. Once again, we encourage you to email us at with your questions or comments regarding your individual scenario. 

The saguaro planted at its new home

 We do thank you for your interest in this page, and hope that we can assist you in the adoption or transplanting of one of your larger, more mature cactus specimens. We look forward to being able to serve you.