Oct. 1, 2014 - Cody Franson walking with a heavy limp this morning (left knee). No structural damage on his left knee. Team continues to wait for the swelling to go down. He’s riding the bike this morning. Doing so while the rest of the team works out. Again, injury could have been a lot worse.#Leafs are up in Collingwood for team building. Here’s the team photo following today’s workout in Collingwood. #TMLtalk
This may look like nothing other than a grove of similar trees with the autumn leaves changing color, but its actually much more remarkable than that. This is, effectively, a single organism.
This grove consists of a total of 47,000 trees, all of which are genetically identical, and all of which share the same root system. The trees are clones of each other, grown upward out of the root system at depth. It is believed to be the most massive organism ever discovered, with a mass of about 6 million kilograms and covering half a square kilometer.
It’s unclear quite how old the organism actually is. It almost certainly dates back several thousand years as it would take at least that long for the roots to grow, but it could also have sat at a near steady state for some time and could potentially have lived through some of the previous glaciations.
The system is actually under threat today; overgrazing by deer and elk in the area are preventing vary many new trunks from taking hold in the area. To preserve this marvel, the US Forest Service has undertaken a conservation campaign, including fencing off a portion of the tree and undertaking controlled burns to allow germination of new shoots in the protected area.