The Pando Photographic Survey is a first-of-its-kind document of Pando, the world’s largest tree. Made up of 47,000 branches that span across 106-acres (43 Hectares), Pando is the largest tree by weight at 13.2 Million pounds (5789 Tonnes) and land mass combined, a tree that in a superlative category of its own in the world of trees. A recent discovery only confirmed in 2008, this effort documents Pando’s expanse for the first time, recording 8,542 locations of the tree’s expanse allowing anyone to study and explore Pando from anywhere in the world, year-round.
More than just a “picture of a tree”, the Pando Photographic Survey is a first-of-its-kind scientific record. Rigorously developed in collaboration with Fishlake National Forest and Snow College, the Pando Photographic Survey is a baseline re-photography project; a photographic effort can be replicated on any scale to observe and study changes in the tree over time and, with high accuracy (2cm-3m in the 2-D plane [7in to 4ft volumetrically]). Gathered at the ground-level of the tree where satellites cannot reach, the project was developed using 8K, 360-degree cameras allowing scientists, land managers and the general public a way to study and the explore Pando, just as if they were there. An open-science project, anyone can download images, maps and data sets to interrogate image data, to use on their own research projects, or simply, to visit the tree anytime they like using a desktop computer, cell phone or, a VR headset.
On March 28th, 2023, Friends of Pando began to publish data and a methods paper. Today, data for nearly 60% of Pando’s land mass has been published with work continuing behind the scenes to develop what stands to be one of the largest images of a tree ever gathered. If you are new to Pando, we suggest you visit the “Guide to All Things Pando Page” to familiarize yourself with this natural wonder. If you are a scientist or conservationist, we encourage you to review the Methods Page to understand quality controls and how you can replicate results in Pando, or adapt our models on your own conservation project. Lastly, if you are a tree lover, we encourage you to take a few minutes to Meet the Team and hear stories from 39 Pando lovers and their inspiration to help create this unique record of their favorite tree, Pando.
The Pando Photographic Survey allows anyone to explore Pando without the need for any special hardware or software.
You can use the links below to explore the tree by section and route. In addition, each page also includes links to download data sets that you can mix and match for use in research, research planning or, your personal enjoyment.
Click any Section button below to explore that part of Pando and download data sets.
Th Pando Photographic Survey is a scientific document developed so that it can be replicated over time. Read how we created the record from mapping the tree to publication.
The Pando Photographic Survey is an open science project that was developed to help promote research. Download foundational data sets including the methods report (PDF), shoot map (PDF), shapes files of the location waypoints, Pando Area Map, equipment lists and other resources to use the data on your project.
Field work on the Pando Photographic Survey began in early 2021 and continues through the present day. Over the course of the project, 39 people from across the United States took part in the field and behind the scenes. As Pando is a tree of “one” that self-replicates, we asked team members to take part in a fun portrait project. A clone portrait showing what it might be like if there were 47,000 of you…
Learn more about what inspired people to take part traveling from around the world to take part in their first-of-its kind effort to document the world’s largest tree…
More than a picture of tree, the Pando Photographic Survey can…
Pando Photographic Survey Project Quick Facts
Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.
Your gift of only $14 a month will help protect Pando for generations to come.
Friends of Pando is a proud partner of Pando’s public land stewards, Fishlake National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.
Learn more about our partnership.
Friends of Pando and its partners are equal opportunity employers.