We got some heavy rain last week and a 4.5 ft tall barrel cactus fell over. Assuming most of it is water, it probably weighs about 700 lb. I've read that if I moisten the soil, take care with the roots, and can get and keep it upright with sandbags and 2x4's, it might live.
I imagine that I could wrap the cactus in an old carpet, cut some 2x6's to make a harness, feed a thick rope through harness, and slowly pull it upright using some kind of pulley system, where all the pulleys will probably have to be held in place by drilling holes in our concrete sidewalk. I'm also hoping that by tying the other end of the rope around a recycling bin and having someone pull it in parallel to my effort, we can space the effort out. The recycling bin currently has about 7 cu ft of water and thus weighs about 430 lb.
Is this a reasonable idea? Are there special names for the species of pulley system I'd need to use, or pulley and rope ratings to respect, or other components I need to be aware of to get this to work? I took physics in a previous life and can sit down and do calculations to finalize the design before I start work, but I don't have the intuition of someone who has actually solved mechanical engineering problems to say, "This is nonsense" or "You've got to account for X" where X is one of many things I just don't know about. Is there perhaps some more reasonable or cheaper route to save our big lug? If it's much more cost effective, I could rent appropriate equipment from the hardware store, but I kind of like having the excuse to purchase some simple effort-multiplying devices so I can pull off other feats in the future.