Colorado is known for its stunning vistas and beautiful mountains, and fall is a time where our unique landscape shines—quite literally! The aspens in Colorado give off a fiery display each year, and it’s something to go see and explore. So don’t miss out this year—go see them before it all fades away. And while you’re exploring, here are some fun facts about aspens for you and your family to enjoy…
Aspens in Colorado
Canada has the largest concentration of aspens, but they are also quite common on the East Coast in New England and in the states around the Great Lakes. However, out here, Colorado and Utah boast the densest populations, so they are definitely a treat that Colorado can be proud to have in our state–especially with their gorgeous fall colors.
Aspens Clone Themselves
Whiles aspens can reproduce through seeds, it’s often hard for them to do so because their seeds are pretty sensitive. So an aspen can regenerate through little shoots that spring up along its roots. The sprouts result in genetically identical trees that are grouped in an aggregate called a “clone.” All of the trees in an aspen clone share a root structure underneath ground, and aspen clones can reach from an acre to a 100 acres in size.
Aspens are the Largest Living Organism On Earth
Because of this ability to regenerate through a single root system and clone in a genetically identical way, aspens have been called the largest living organism on earth. In fact, the largest single clone on earth is in Utah in Fishlake National Forest, and scientists call it Pando. The whole organism of connected trees is 106 acres with about 47,000 trees. However, the title of the largest living organism is up for debate—there’s an aspen grove on Colorado’s Kebler Pass (right past Crested Butte) that could be larger, some scientists argue. It just hasn’t been studied enough yet.
We hope you’re impressed—because we are! Aspens are truly incredible trees, and they make our state that much more beautiful. If you’re interested in going out to see the aspens, we found this really handy article that lists all of the drives you can take. Check it out!