Moving a large Eve’s Needle cactus

I rarely repost entries from other blogs—actually I don’t think I’ve ever done it before—but I found this one so interesting that I requested and obtained permission to post it here (thank you, Peter).

Have you ever wondered how commercial nurseries move large cactus specimens? Check out these photos from Cactus Jungle in Berkeley, CA. The task is to move an 8 ft. Eve’s Needle cactus (Opuntia subulata or Austrocylindropuntia subulata) from the nursery to a customer’s house 40 miles away.

Opuntia subulata being mummified for the trip. Ian, Keith and Hap of Cactus Jungle (and Brian not in photo) are hard at work with newspaper, cardboard and plastic at the nursery in Berkeley.

Securing the plant in the truck.

On the deck at the customer’s house. That must have been hard to get it up there. It took four people to lift the cactus up the stairs.

And the final resting place of this giant cactus, with pot feet, in Pleasanton, CA, east of Berkeley.

Cactus Jungle is the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier cactus and succulent nursery. Located in Berkeley just a few blocks off Interstate 80, Cactus Jungle offers a large variety of plants, including many not seen in other commercial nurseries in Northern California. The owners, Hap Hollibaugh and Peter Lipson, write a very entertaining blog that I follow regularly.


  1. What a task! Opuntia spines are nasty in that they stay on your skin and you have to tweezer them off one by one....

    Looks great in that spot :)

  2. I have enough trouble moving my 2' cactus. Did you ever see the Dirty Jobs episode where they moved a huge Saguro (I think)? I wonder if that's available anywhere on the Internet...
    It's not work, it's gardening!

  3. Alan, no, I hadn't seen that episode, but I have now. Wow, that was quite an operation. At $100 per foot, the cactus alone was $1,900. I assume delivery and installation was extra? What a beautiful specimen though.

    Here's the link in case anybody else is interested: Transplanting a saguaro with Discovery's Mike Rowe.

    Thank you for the tip!


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