Aiming To Be An Aspen

Whenever I learn something new about a tree it totally blows me away. Aspens, the crazy beautiful ones that turn yellow and shed their leaves are my latest interest. Each of these trees looks like it stands alone but are actually a small part of a muuuuch larger organism! Below the ground is the main life force.

Aspens, Wild Again

Aspens in the Fall just before they begin to shed their leaves. These trees are the most wide-spread tree in North America. What’s fascinating is that this picture captures not many separate trees but one much larger single organism.

Aspens, Wild Again

The Aspens photographed here are the ones without any foliage. Despite it being winter, this species continues to grow because of its very thin bark that allows for photosynthesis even with minimal sunlight.

Older than the Sequoias, the oldest aspen clone has lived more than 80 000 years and is not only the oldest but heaviest living thing on the planet, weighing in at 6 600 tons! It’s estimated to be made up of 47 000 tree trunks! What’s super cool is that sometimes people will plant an Aspen and it’ll die after a season or two but then just a while later new sprouts pop up a few meters away and grow into healthy trees.

It reminds me about how we all grow better in community. How we’re all connected to something much, much bigger than our own spindly trunk even if you can’t see it and that it’s also ok to grow in all kinds of directions because you never know which one is going to take off.

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