If you’re a St. George native, you may not think of Utah as a tree-seeing destination, but the state is home to one of the world’s oldest trees.  

A great way for us Southern Utahns to start the new year is to go up north. Head up to Fishlake National Forest in Central Utah and visit Pando, a colony of trees that are thousands of years old.  

Pando is the result of a clone of Aspens and the original is thought to have been around somewhere at the end of the last ice age according to the U.S. National Forest Service website 

The clones spread over 106 acres and make a beautiful splotch of color during the turning of the leaves. There are 40,000 trees in total.  

Pando is believed to be the largest, most dense organism ever found at nearly 13 million pounds.”-U.S. National Forest Service   

Pando means “it spreads” in Latin which is an appropriate name considering what it's famous for. It was recently recognized by geneticists and officially recognized in 1970 by researchers.  

It may not have the orange, reds, and yellows you’d see in autumn but it’s still totally worth checking out this summer to cool down and see a world treasure. In fact, Pando was one of the “40 Wonders of America” in 2006 honored by the U.S. Postal Service.  

However, Pando (or its clone) may be in some danger so you may want to go visit soon. 

Scientists have seen a decline in the trees. The reasons for the decline are thought to be insects, disease, and lack of regeneration in the clone. The regeneration issue could be from the over-browning of deer and other beings in the area that feed on it.  

The Forest Service is working on the decline issue and is monitoring the treatment progress of Pando.  

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Gallery Credit: Mikey Foley

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