Fred Stula is the executive director of Friends of Saguaro National Park and has been looking at the way that the climate has been affecting saguaro cacti.

He said in recent decades, climate change has affected the water saguaros have gotten and thats why theyre growing slower.

Really for the last twenty years, we havent really had kind of a good cycle of cool, wet conditions, he said.

Thats why he said theyre slower to grow, so theres less of them entering the population.

However, that doesnt mean the amount of saguaro cacti hasnt grown at all.

Stula said in 2010 there were about 1.9 million saguaro in the national park. In 2020, he said that number went up to just over 2 million.

Thats why its the mission of Friends of Saguaro National Park to remove invasive species.

We remove invasive buffel grass from throughout the park to help foster the growth of saguaros, Stula said.

He said the park also did research about how nurse trees help saguaros grow.

It protects it from the heat but It also helps to kind of bring water up from the soil, he said.

However, the park doesnt plant saguaros and they dont transplant very many unless there is construction.

So when you transplant it, you end up kind of cutting off some of those roots and they cant grow back to the full size that they were at before, he said.

Instead he said they have the Adopt a Saguaro program which puts money into their efforts.

He advised that people should not disturb them because the desert is their natural habitat.

Just Leaving them alone and letting them grow naturally, he said.