What Is Pando?


Pando: The One-Tree Forest

There is a misconception that the largest creature on earth is the Blue Whale.  Weighing in at 180,000kg, it is certainly a sizable beast, but far from the largest.  For the largest creatures, we must delve into the world of super-organisms: many individuals connected to form one whole.  The largest of these is a forest made up of a single tree. This is Pando, Latin for "I Spread." 

Pando, also called the "Trembling Giant," is a clonal colony of a single Quaking Aspen located within Richfield, Utah. 

So how does it work?  When a Quaking Aspen wants to reproduce, it flowers and produces a clone of itself. This 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 belongs to the first tree. For all intents and purposes it is the first tree, but in a seperate place. The new tree grows with the old one as they establish a root network that expands on and on. 

There are more than 47,000 trees in the Pando forest, which weigh over 6,000,000 kilograms.  (sorce:mostlvodd.com)

Please watch this amazing story from PBS Weekend NewsHour:  https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/earths-most-massive-living-thing-is-struggling-to-survive