On the Fishlake National Forest in central Utah, there is an Aspen clone, an enormous stand of Aspen that is connected by a continuous root system.
Each stem, or tree, is part of one organism that is over 100 acres in size. It was named “Pando” by scientists, which means “I spread.”
This Aspen clone is the largest documented organism in the world. But it is in danger of dying because the older trees are drought-stressed and under attack by insects. The young trees that would replace the older ones are being consumed by the local deer and elk.
Efforts are underway to remedy the situation. There is a portion of the area that is fenced off to allow the young trees to grow.
Fish Lake, the site of this enormous Aspen clone, is only a short distance off of Highway 95, part of our route home to California after our adventures in Colorado. We chose this route not only to spend time in the red rock area of Utah, but also to see the Aspen.
the largest documented organism in the world
Although most had already lost their leaves by the time we reached them, it was still a stunning display.
I think the naked trees are beautiful, and there are so many! This area is close to 9,000 feet in elevation, so it will soon be covered in snow. That must be a truly majestic sight!