I think this must be the most surprising story that has come my way in a long time. Yes, I’ve covered a lot of shocking stories, but this one is almost miraculous, at least to me. I mean, how can a single tree produce 40 DIFFERENT types of fruit?!
Well, these trees can and do simultaneously produce peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and cherries. And the trees look perfectly ordinary throughout most of the year. However, in spring, they bloom into an amazing patchwork of colors, with each tree developing its own palette.
The trees are the work of Sam Van Aken, a Syracuse University sculptor and artist┬áwho created them in an attempt to make people reconsider how food can be produced.
Mr. Van Aken began his project in 2008 when he discovered that a New York state orchard, which had varieties of stone fruit that were 200-years-old, was to be abandoned. Hoping to save it, he bought the orchard and began experimenting with what is known as “chip grafting” — the taking of a sliver off a tree, including the bud, and then inserting it into a cut in the working tree.
The foreign tree implant is then taped and left to heal over the winter. Mr. Van Aken explained that most stone-fruits are fully compatible. He then came up with “The Tree of 40 Fruit”, which is, strictly speaking, not one tree, but a multitude hybridized fruit plants. So far, Mr. Van Aken has grown 16 such trees and placed them in museums, community centers and private art collections around the U.S.
In spring, his trees blossom in various shades of pink, crimson and white, and then in summer they bear a range of stone fruit. Mr. Van Aken told Lauren Salkeld at Epicurious:
I’ve been told by people that have [a tree] at their home that it provides the perfect amount and perfect variety of fruit. So rather than having one variety that produces more than you know what to do with, it provides good amounts of each of the 40 varieties.
Since all of these fruit ripen at different times, from July through October, you also aren’t inundated.
Truly awesome work! (Scroll down for the video.)
1. The Tree of 40 fruit can simultaneously produce peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines almonds and cherries. Here a CGIshows what the trees will look like in spring as they become more mature.
2. These trees look ordinary throughout most of the year.
3. But in spring, they bloom into a stunning patchwork of colors, with each tree featuring its own unique selection of stone fruit.
4. The trees are the work of Syracuse University sculpture and artist Sam Van Aken who created the trees in an attempt to make people reconsider how food can be produced.
5. So far, Mr. Van Aken has created and placed 16 trees in museums, community centers and private art collections around America.
6. The trees look ordinary.
7. But in spring, the trees blossom in shades of pink, crimson and white, and in summer bear a range of stone fruit.
8. Mr. Van Aken’s trees can be seen in cities across the U.S, including Santa Fe, New Mexico; Short Hills, New Jersey; Louisville, Kentucky and Pound Ridge, New York.
And here is the video:
Share this incredible fruit tree with your friends below — they will be fascinated.