Visit Pando the Trembling Giant, one of the largest and oldest organisms in the worldNalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | February 12, 2020
Pando, Latin for 'I Spread,' is a forest but not a usual one. In fact it is one of the most unusal places on our planet.
America I Spread
They are over a million years old and Pando is not only one of the largest organisms in the world but is also among the oldest.
The Trembling Giant, is an enormous grove of quaking aspens and that grove is a single organism. Each of the approximately 47,000 or so trees in the grove is genetically identical and all the trees share a single root system.
While many trees spread through flowering and sexual reproduction, quaking aspens usually reproduce asexually, sprouting new trees from the expansive lateral root of the parent. The individual trees aren’t individuals but stems of a massive single clone, and this clone is truly massive.
The estimates of Pando’s age have it as over one million years old, which would easily make it one of the world’s oldest living organisms. Some of the trees in the forest are over 130 years old.
The quaking aspen is named for its leaves, which stir easily in even a gentle breeze and produce a fluttering sound with only the slightest provocation. The effect of this in Pando multiplied over the tens of thousands of trees and hundreds of acres can be unnerving, giving a real sense of life to the ancient, dying, trembling giant.
Where: Located one mile southwest of Fish Lake on SR 25, Utah. ■