Pando - The Largest Living Organism in the World

By Sophia Christou, 10/19/17

A stand of Populus tremuloides, commonly named Trembling Aspen, has been found to be the largest living organism on earth. No, it isn't the tallest or the biggest tree, it is in fact is a stand of trees spreading over an area of 43 hectares (106 acres). This collection of 47,000 genetically identical stems is said to be one living organism because every stem shares a collective root system. Though the individual trees average at 130 years old, the root system is 80,000 years old, also making it the oldest living organism in the world. You can visit this stand at the Fishland National Forest in Utah.

Pando Forest
Unfortunately, Pando is currently thought to be dying according to ecologists at Utah State University. The exact cause is unknown, whether it be drought stress, disease, insects, elk grazing, or climate change. Restoration is underway to help stimulate new stem growth and preserve this natural wonder.

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By Sophia Christou, 10/19/17

"This Is Amazing! And a little sad that I learned about this from Raymond Reddington from the TV series Blacklist (it was mentioned in the last episode). - I’m almost 50 years old and had no idea this amazing living organism existed."

By JLD1218 on 05/24/22

"Yes and I only red about it in one if the Jack Reacher books & I'm in my 70's."

By Ann McKiernan on 11/26/22

"Actually, the largest living organism on Earth is the Armillaria solidipes (Honey fungus). A network of this fungus in the pacific northwest spans 5.5 kilometres across, covering about 2,384 acres. It is estimated it to be over 2000 years old. And the Pando aspens may simply be dying of old age."

By Dr H on 05/05/23

"Dr H is supported by Oregon Public Broadcasting program Oregon Field Guide from 2/15/2015. The name of the forest in which Pando resides is the Fishlake National Forest, and even if not THE largest, it is amazing and the area looks especially good in the fall."

By Strawdog on 06/06/23

"Thank you, Strawdog. I felt sad at the comments thinking the whole stand of trees is dying. I would love to see these 1 day."

By Mountain Laurel on 07/01/23

"Thank you, Strawdog. I felt sad at the comments thinking the whole stand of trees is dying. I would love to see these 1 day."

By Mountain Laurel on 07/01/23

"The inaccuracy of this article was already pointed out to you. Could you please either correct it, or explain why the much larger organism in on of the other comments isn't actually larger?"

By Bill Shroyer on 10/21/23

"Ijust heard of Pando and I also am in my 70’s"

By Nico on 10/29/23

"Is this different from Armillaria ostoyae"

By Lonnell Samuels on 05/18/24

"You should into a seagrass pasture (Posidonia australis) in Shark Bay, Australia. It is believed to cover 77 square milesof ocean floor."

By John B on 05/25/24

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