Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week (June 15, 16, 17) will be lively days for anyone traveling along the 101 or 202 freeways because they will witness a parade of trucks, each full of 30-40 tons of plants, barrelling down the highway from Wallace Desert Gardens in north Scottsdale to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. With over 550 large boxed trees, cacti, yuccas, and other succulents already populating our large Picket Post holding area, three days of shipments could actually fill up the remaining space in the main area that we have left.
Of course, we have to stay ahead of it, so we have cleared another adjacent area of nearly the same size and installed an irrigation system, all ready for successive waves of boxed trees as they arrive. With the heat that blesses us in mid-June, hand watering is out of the question–one missed irrigation and a valuable plant that cost as much as $3,000 to dig, containerize, and truck to the Arboretum could be lost in 48 hours. So, as plants are off loaded from the trucks, they are place in the position where they will reside until ready to plant, and emitters installed in each and every box.
The contractor, Native Resources, Inc. is digging, boxing, and transporting the largest plants, and our staff are traveling to Wallace Desert Gardens every week to dig and haul back the plants that have a high rate of survival when transplanted bare root. We now have six large shade house full of these plants, 2600 in all.
By July 2017, we have to move a total of 6,000 plants. If you’ve been doing the math, the current total adds up to a little over half of these plants now residing safely on the Arboretum grounds. These 3,000 are all part of Phase 1 and Phase 2, both of which are fully funded, with another 1,000 plants funded before the money runs out.
This is why we need everyone’s help. The last 2,000 plants are part of Phase 3 and currently, we do not have the money to save these plants. With your help, we are gaining ground with our Gofundme/desertplantrescue campaign, raising nearly $17,000 in the past three months, plus nearly twice that in other individual donations. But we are still well short of our $2 million goal. We need everyone’s help to bring each and every plant to its new home at the Arboretum.