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Old 12-29-2007, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Independence, Mo
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Default Alamogordo Cacti and Palms

Does anyone know if its possible to grow saguaro cacti or Mexican fan palms in Alamogordo? Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Florida's Beaches
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I'm not sure Dennis as the elevation is kinda high at 4,300 ft here in Alamogordo where as Tucson is at 2,300 ft and Phoenix is at 1,100 ft where these grow in arizona.
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis_6 View Post
Does anyone know if its possible to grow saguaro cacti or Mexican fan palms in Alamogordo? Thanks.
I have seen the saguaro cacti here in Alamo, and there are some palm trees, just not sure of the type.
Jane
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Independence, Mo
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Thanks, I seen the palms not the saguaro. Haven't seen a mexican fan palm there, but I was only passing through when I went through town. Hoping maybe somebody else has.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Florida's Beaches
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If Jane (chilegal) says she has seen them (Saguaro) then i beleive her. But i personally haven't seen them. When you drive US 54 from Alamo to El Paso all you see are Mesquite and Creosote bushes as when you drive from Alamo to Las Cruces on U.S.70. North of Alamo on U.S. 54 by Carrizozo you do see alot of Yucca cactus. There are alot of Ocotillo Cactus on the mountains by El Paso and Las Cruces.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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There are not many saguaro, but I have seen them in yards, one fell over a year ago or so. But I am sure you would have to plant them as they are not native to this area.
Jane
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Independence, Mo
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Fully planned on planting, Wasn't sure the climate would support a Saguaro.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
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Glad I caught your post here, Dennis, as I lived in Albuquerque for 4+ years until very recently and spent a huge amount of time in Las Cruces and El Paso; I became kind of a self-taught expert on regional cacti and palm trees, especially as they related to the Las Cruces / El Paso area, which Alamogordo is a part of.

Saguaros and Mexican Fan Palm Trees are both semi-common in El Paso. Of course, as noted above, neither are native to the area, so they need to be planted, especially of note to the saguaro in that respect. You'll see Mexican Fan Palms in El Paso almost as common as pine trees in Colorado, saguaros not nearly as common, but if you keep your eyes open, you'll see them fairly sporadically-yet-reguarly (if that makes sense) used in landscaping in various residential yards and in commercial landscapes...most that I have seen - both for the saguaros and the Mexican Fans - have done quite well in EP. Note though, I have seen probably about 15 large saguaros in EP in various yards, commercial landscapings (by restaurants, offices, etc.) total, so that is what I mean still be sporadic...it isn't nearly as common as in Phoenix, Tucson, etc., where they are native (and probably a hare better suited to the climate).

In Las Cruces, it is the same on a smaller scale. I have seen probably 2 or 3 saguaros used in landscaping, and certainly some Mexican Fan palms as well. Part of the lesser #s is obviously due to the size of the cities (EP with over 600,000 residents and LC with under 100,000) but part of that is due to slightly better growing conditions in EP. EP has a better micro-climate for growing these - albeit not tremendously different, than LC. EP usually is a few degrees warmer, which is especially helpful as it relates to overnight winter lows, plus it is less open and more protected by the Franklin Mountains than LC is.

Now...I know you asked about Alamo rather than EP and LC, however, I provide the EP and LC info as a basis of comparison for Alamo, which is a part of the same region as EP and LC.

Bottom line is I would probably think Alamo is more in the same light as LC than EP. As Harry pointed out, Alamo is over 4000 feet in altitude, and thus probably isn't quite as ideal as EP (which is roughly 3700 feet). However, I have seen saguaros in EP on Mesa Rd. which runs by UTEP into the Franklin Mountains where it is over 4000 feet; thus, I think they'd be doable in a well protected area in Alamo as well. Certainly the Mexican Fans would be I imagine doable since they are doable in Las Cruces.

Bottom line is I think you'd be fine with saguaros and Mexican Fans in Alamo, but I would probably take a little more care with them in Alamo then I would in EP when planting them. I would probably opt for - especially saguaros - an older species that would be hardier for the first few winters, would probably ensure it was close to a west or south facing wall, etc. For Mexican Fans you'd probably be fine in Alamo pretty much planting anything, but I would probably still opt for an older species than say a 5 gallon one if possible.

Surely you probably know California Fans are going to REALLY thrive in Alamo (versus their slightly less hardy cousin the Mexican Fans) and most other cacti slightly more hardy than saguaros will thrive as well. But again, I think you can do just fine with saguaros and Mexicans in Alamo, as evidenced by them doing so well in EP and to a slightly lesser extent Las Cruces.

Good luck!!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Independence, Mo
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Thanks, that was the answer I was looking for.
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Old 12-31-2007, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
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I posted the question in the Arizona forum:

How high will a saguaro grow?

It looks like 4,500 ft is about the max elevation.

Downtown Alamogordo is roughly 4,350 ft.
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