What the heck is Pando Obed ?

Pando is a massive forest of Aspen trees in Utah. Linked by 47,000 trees, it is thought to be the world’s largest living thing by mass. At 6,000 tons, it is said to be 35 times heavier than a Blue whale, the largest living mammal on the planet. However, in my opinion the what’s most intriguing about Pando is not that it’s believed to be between 80 thousand to 1 million years old, but that all 47,000 trees stem from one root.

An entire forest growing from one root !

(Can’t help but think how much faster prince Caspian and the Narnians could have defeated king Miraz, had Pando fought on their side at the Battle of Beruna in the Chronicles of Narnia. You probably won’t get this reference if you never read the chronicles of Narnia, and I am at peace with that.)


Unfortunately, Pando is on the verge of dying. Old trees are nearing the end of their life span, and young trees are being eaten by hungry animals. Experts are looking for ways to preserve Pando, and methods such as fencing seem promising in preventing further deterioration.

Why should you care about anything that happens in Utah, much less a forest of Aspen trees ?

What does any of this have to do with impact ?

What does any of this have to do with defining manhood ?

The answer is quite simple really. If we look closely at Pando, we can come to the conclusion that it’s a phenomenon. It is a remarkable thing, something that should be marveled at, a rarity. In all truth, we all desire to be like Pando, or at least we should.

We want to do things that our friends and family can marvel at. We want to be people that others respect as a result of the things we’ve had to overcome, and our abilities to set ourselves apart despite the challenges that we face. Whether those challenges were self inflicted or we just found ourselves in the midst of messes that we had no business creating. Every man wants to prove himself able to rise above. Lets sum the desire to overcome success. Success might look different for each one of us-just like the each of the 47,000 trees that make up Pando are different, but we all desire to grow and flourish.

What is the significance of all this ?

You die, I die

Pando is latin for “I spread.”

In order for Pando to have survived thousands of years and become the spectacle that it is today. It had to spread. So that’s what it did. The trees connected themselves until they became one. Pando is also at risk because individual trees are dying. The impact of one tree as profound on the group, as the impactful the group is on the individual tree. Pando’s survival is totally dependent on the “success” or “failure” of the individual tree.

The Pando Model

1.) Partner yourself with like-hearted people

Pando’s success was made easier as result of the uniformity and singularity of likeness that exists between the Aspen trees. To put it simply, they are the same trees.

Pando’s failures are also a result of the the link that exists between the Aspen trees. Who has access to your roots ?

2.) Pursue depth in relationships

Pando survived between 80,000 to 1 million years, in part because thousands of roots merged into one root. In order for that merger to occur in the roots, a process had to take place deep below the surface.

Beware of shallow relationships, but depth is required in order for growth to take place.

3.) Participate in the success of others

Although Pando is recognized as an individual organism, without the individual success of each tree, there would be no Pando. In other words as much as we expect others to endorse our own success and be committed to us, the same should be expected of us.

Does your presence nourish others ? Or deprive them of the nutrients they need to grow ?

Remember, if you are not growing you are dying.

Obed Jean PierreComment