Utah November 11, 2019
At Over 80,000 Years Old, One Of The Oldest Trees In The World Is Found In Utah
Did you know that the Beehive State is home to one of the world’s oldest trees? It’s true, and you can see it in the Fishlake National Forest, not far from the town of Richfield.
To see this 80,000-year-old giant, visit Fishlake National Forest. This huge forest covers 1.5 million acres in central Utah.
You'll find it about one mile southwest of the shores of Fish Lake (look for mile marker six), and you might be surprised when you see it.
Say hello to Pando, one of the world's largest, and heaviest living organisms. Did you expect to see one, stately tree? Well, you're kind of looking at one.
Pando is a male quaking aspen. These trees spread their roots underground and generate new shoots that pop up all around them. What might look like a forest of different trees is actually just one, and it's called an "aspen clone."
These clones are genetically exact to each other, so they're all one organism instead of the many they appear to be.
Pando covers 106 acres, and weighs approximately 6,600 short tons. It's the heaviest living organism in the world, and at around 80,000 years old, one of the oldest.
Unfortunately, scientists recently discovered that Pando is no longer generating new clones, and it may be dying.
A report in 2018 named human interference as the main cause, citing cattle grazing and wildlife grazing as great concerns, as well as bark beetles that kill the clones by the droves.
Scientists have set up several test areas to try some different methods to save Pando. You'll see these areas when you visit.
To see Pando is not a singular experience - it's hard to tell were Pando ends and other aspen groves begin. Still, it's worth a visit, and there are several ways to see it up close.
You can drive through on State Road 25, or take Forest Road 1483. Four-wheel-drive is recommended for this dirt road. You're also welcome to stroll through Pando. Just remember to practice Leave No Trace Principles and try to minimize your impact on this special place.
Have you seen Pando in person? We’d love to see your photos and hear about your adventures in the Fishlake National Forest. Learn more about his forest on its
webpage on the U.S. Forest Service’s website.
Looking for more cool trees in Utah? Check out
this rare elm tree at the Historic Utah County Courthouse, and visit Metaphor: Tree of Utah the next time you find yourself driving west on I-80 (this isn’t a real tree, but rather, a piece of art).
Address: Fishlake National Forest, Utah 84701, USA