Have you ever heard of a tree which bears 40 types of fruit in just one season? A sculptor from Syracuse University, Sam Van Aken, has managed to create one using a simple but unique technique. The strange thing is that it looks quite ordinary most of the year but when July comes, the magic begins. Through the period from July to October it bears 40 types of fruit. You can see apples, plums, cherries, nectarines, peaches and even almonds growing on that amazing tree during that period of time. When spring comes, it blossoms in various beautiful colors such as crimson, fuchsia, white and many variations of pink.
Aken’s achievement is a product of hard work and dedication, and of course, his love for art. The technique that he used to create the tree didn’t include any genetic engineering. Instead, he used the old technique of grafting. It includes collecting young cuttings of trees and implanting them in strategic points of the base tree. These grafts are taped into place and after they heal over the winter period, they become a normal part of the tree, drawing nutrients and water just like any other branch.
16 trees of this unique sort have been grown up to now. Each one takes about 5 years to grow. Aken explains that he chose stone fruits to grow on the trees for a reason. They have most diversity and most importantly- they are inter-compatible. He explains that he has worked with around 250 types of stone fruit and that his project has become more about preserving some of the antique, native and heirloom varieties of fruit.
Van Aken plans to create an orchard using proceeds of his trees. It will be presented as an archive for antique stone fruit types. He’s also growing a small grove in Portland, Maine where the trees will be available to the public.
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