We’ve been back from our Colorado trip for a month now and I’m already feeling nostalgic for nature.
I’d like to share some facts about one of my favorite organisms of the Rockies, Populus tremuloides. Or, the Quaking Aspen. They get their name from the manner in which their leaves move in the wind.
These are one of the most fascinating organisms I have ever heard of. Here’s why: many of these trees are actually one organism known as a clonal colony. They grow roots that jump up through the surface and grow into genetically identical trees.
There is one Aspen in Utah named Pando that has been estimated to be a clonal colony of 47,000 trees at an astounding age of 10,000 years old. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around that.
Here is one of the tiny runner roots from a neighboring tree. These little guys are everywhere.
On the other side of the mountain, the same organism could possibly grow. Considering they’ve been growing for thousands of years, what else can they do but expand?
I’m glad my botany educated, soon to be husband was there to teach me the wonder of our surroundings. I learned so much about botany this trip, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite nerd hobbies.
I hope my fascination with this amazing organism is shared!