What Is Pando?

Pando: The One Tree Forest

There is the misconception that the largest creature on earth is the Blue Whale.  Measuring in at 180,000kg it is certainly a sizable beast but it is far from the largest.  For the larger creatures we must delve into the world of super-organisms.  Many individuals connected to form a single whole.  The largest of these, that has so far been dixcovered, is a forest made only of one tree. Pando

Pando, Latin for " I spread" is a tree, or it is not.  Depends on your definition of tree.  Pando (a.k.a. the Trembling Giant) is a clonal conlony of a single male, Quaking Aspen.  It is located within Richfield, Utah in the United States of America.

So how does it work?  When a Quaking Aspen wants to reproduce, it flowers and produces a clone of itself.  Cloning just means extending its network of roots and forcing them up through the ground, thus starting a new tree.  This new tree has all the same genetic makeup and even has genetic markers to say that it actually belongs to the first tree.  To all intents and purposes it is the first tree, but in a seperate place.

The new tree grows with the old one and together they establish a large root network which produces more and more Quaking Aspen, essentially causing the single tree to expand into a clonal colony with a vast root network.  

There are more than 47,000 trees in the Pando forest and weigh over 6,000,000 kilograms.