Cutting Down a Cactus in Arizona Could Result in Prison Time


If you think that cutting down a cactus in Arizona is like cutting down any tree anywhere, you would be wrong. If you cut one down without permission, you could wind up in prison for 25 years. The reason this law stands is because the saguaro cactus takes an incredibly long time to grow. These plants have a lifespan that's estimated to be from 150 years to 200 years if they aren’t cut down and if they have the right conditions. As such, when they are 10 years old, they might still be tiny, perhaps under two inches tall. Because of this, the state is harsh on those who cut them down. If they were harvested quickly, it could be generations before they’d be able to grow back. Any damage that's done by a human will last for the rest of that person’s life. While trees can be replanted and some will grow up again relatively quickly, the same is not true for the saguaro cactus. Let’s say, however, that you did cut down a cactus, but not intentionally. In that case, you could get a much lighter sentence, perhaps even probation, depending on the circumstances. If, however, you did it on purpose, the best thing to do is hire a good lawyer.