Yesterday on our way home from St. George, I made matt take a detour into the Fish Lake National Forest to go find Pando, the world's largest living organism. It's a giant aspen grove and I was hoping it would be changing colors for the fall. We were in luck, as it was at its peak and perfectly golden.
We were unsure if we actually found it, but I think all the trees to the SW of the lake were it. Sadly scientists think Pando is dying from disease and infestation. Restoration is ongoing to encourage new sucklings to grow and flourish.
Located in the Fish Lake Basin in Central Utah, Pando is a giant clone of roughly 50,000 trees. Spread over about 106 acres to the SW of Fish Lake, the aspen stand all shares the same DNA and weighs nearly 13 million pounds.
Pando was named for the Latin Word that means "I Spread." The single organism is thought to be 80,000 years old or even older, and started from a single seed that spread by sending out new shoots to expands its root system.
The only way to know for sure you're in Pando is to see this fence and sign near some young and baby aspens. Then fence was put up by foresters and researchers in hopes of protecting new sucklings from being eaten by deer, elk and cattle, so they could have a chance to grow into mature, healthy trees. Pando is located 1 mile southwest of Fish Lake on Highway 25 in central Utah.