Aspen trees have got a fascinating “under-story.”
One aspen tree is a small part of a larger organism. A “stand” or group or “clone” of aspen trees is considered a singular organism with the main life force underground in the extensive root system. So, before a single aspen trunk appears above the surface, the root system may lie dormant for many years until the conditions are just right, including sufficient sunlight.
And, “Pando” – a clone of Aspen trees in Utah, is the single largest living system on the planet. This collection or clone of Aspens is spread across 108 acres and is one of the world’s oldest living organisms.