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NATIVE PLANT Cactus Rescue

The Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society Cactus Rescue Crew saves cacti and other native plants that would otherwise be destroyed

Our work crew volunteers dig up and move the cacti out of harm’s way. Some plants go home with the volunteers, some are transplanted to Pima Prickly Park, and the rest are sold at our plant sales.

Our efforts are supplemental to the on-site preservation that may be required by development permits and Native Plant Protection Ordinances (NPPO). 

By selling our rescued cactus at reasonable costs to the public, we not only save these native plants, but encourage homeowners to use native plants in their landscapes, saving water and preserving our Southern Arizona gene-pool.       

Our scheduled rescue activities are listed below.

Scheduled Rescue Activities Available for RSVP - are now listed in the full Activities Schedule.

You may click DETAILS to learn more about each rescue activity. After you review the details you have the option to RSVP your participation.

Before you RSVP, you MUST be familiar with our Program Policies & Procedures. 


Urban Rescue

Urban rescues are for homeowners who have cacti and succulents they would like removed from their property. Plants are assessed by the Urban Rescue team to determine viability, significance, and effort needed before being removed at no cost to the homeowner. The plants become the property of TCSS and are relocated at their discretion.

Preserving the Desert:
  Sustaining the Planet through Partnerships 
          Click Here to Watch Video 


  • Cactus Rescue Crew Program - Brochure  (available at our sales)
  • How to Plant & Care for Your New Ocotillo - Brochure  (available at our sales)
  • Rescuing Ocotillo Canes and uses by Steve - view
  • How to Plant & Care for Saguaro, Barrel or Hedgehog Cactus - Brochure  (available at our sales)
  • Cactus Gloves we use when we rescue and plant cacti. We sell them at our Cactus sales - Info (available at our sales)
  • AZ Native Plant Laws - Dept of Ag Link
  • Moving a 10 foot tall Saguaro by the TCSS Cactus Rescue Crew by John Durham - Animation
  • Cactus Rescue Crew informational video - 2007, a 12 minute Windows Media File presentation -view
  • Cactus Rescue Crew informational video  - 2003, a 9 minute Windows Media File presentation - view 
  • Presentation - Saving and Handling Our Native Cacti - Updated May 2018 - PowerPoint pdf Version
  • Presentation - Rescuing Cacti by TCSS Cactus Rescue Crew - Updated May 2018 - PowerPoint pdf Version
  • Presentation - Rescuing Cacti by TCSS Cactus Rescue Crew - Updated Sept 2020 - PowerPoint pdf Version

Chris Monrad, one of our our Cactus Rescue Crew Program founders, had an article on our project published in the monthly magazine, The Arizona Civil Engineer.

YOU CAN HELP!  We need your “Eyes and Ears” to help us find new Cactus Rescue Crew sites.  Please email us at with as much information as you can from new project signs or from other sources. Attach a photo of the sign if you can.


      Click Here to View Details of our Accomplishments


    • To learn about the Statues regarding the protection and enforcement of Arizona Native Plant Laws (see Chapter 7) go to the following site:
    • For forms to file permits and applications to be able to legally remove native plants go to this web site:
    • Letter from Arizona Dept of Agriculture regarding non-tagged Arizona Native Plants view
    • Arizona Department of Agriculture Changes to Native Plant Law when moving cacti a second time view
    • Permits can be filled and tags purchased from the Tucson, Arizona Department of Agriculture office, located downtown at 400 W. Congress, Rm 124, phone 628-6317, They have limited office hours, call first.

    Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS)

    PO Box 64759  -  Tucson, AZ 85728-4759   -   Phone: (520) 256-2447  -  Email:

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