Mother Nature deals blow to giant Horny Toad saguaros

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fallen saguaro at horny toadHorny Toad restaurant owner Jeff Price and General Manager Samantha Barker are
pictured waiting in the cordoned-off patio, where giant saguaro limbs fell on Monday, for contractors to remove the downed saguaro arms and the ancient tall saguaro that is now leaning precariously.
  Photo by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – Huge saguaro arms came crashing down on the patio at the Horney Toad restaurant late Monday afternoon. More arms broke off later that evening and again in the middle of the night.

According to owner Jeff Price, at around 3 p.m. a huge saguaro arm came crashing down, hitting the metal roof over the patio, which protected diners from injury and possible death.

Price said another arm came down later that evening and another came down overnight, damaging one picnic table.

On Tuesday morning American Tree Masters methodically sawed off saguaro arms and then toppled sections at a time so the saguaro could be hauled off.

They also assessed the neighboring saguaros and trimmed arms that appeared hazardous.

The saguaro’s removal may have left some birds homeless as it appeared to be a nesting and roosting place for Gila Woodpeckers, House Finches and Peach-faced Lovebirds, although the
adjacent saguaros on the patio seem suitable as replacements.

Price said the giant saguaros have always been a big tourist attraction and photo stop. While he hated to see the giant go, he was glad no one was injured when Mother Nature dealt her blow.

The Horny Toad boasts being the oldest continuously owned restaurant in Cave Creek, serving over 2.2 million pounds of its famous fried chicken during its 38 years of business.

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