Pando is the name of the many-trunked tree system that inspired all this.
Pando is, in fact, the scientific name of the largest organism on Earth, the one-tree aspen forest in Utah made up of over 47,000 trunks, and millions of leaves, connected through one root system.
It’s the perfect metaphor—and a darned good name.
Above ground, Pando appears to be a grove of individual trees, like any other grove. It was overlooked, for years. But underground everything is connected by a single and vast root system. It is one tree. A one-tree-forest.
Pando is now under threat — from cattle grazing, an exploding deer and elk population (due to the elimination of predators), misplaced development, and the impending prospect of radical climate change.
Pando is a fitting symbol of our common and threatened life together, and our ability to endure.
Former First Lady of California Maria Shriver puts it this way: “Pando means I belong to you, you belong to me, we belong to each other.” Read more on our Pando means we are interconnected campaign page.
We are working with a network of collaborative efforts to support Pando the tree, ranging from project-based learning initiatives to local research, conservation, and communications partnerships, including with the Western Aspen Alliance.
Why Pando Matters
Earth Island Journal, January 2021 | “Pando to Pangea“
Salt Lake City Weekly, November 2013 | “Devastated: The World’s Largest Known Organism Is In Utah – And It’s Dying”