Fruits

Tree of the 40 different fruits

 

The 40-fruit tree is a hybrid species that produces forty different types of stone fruits, including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. It is created by the grafting process and blooms in variegated shades of pink, crimson and white.

As something out of a dream, artist Sam Van Aken is its creator and describes the process as “part Dr. Seuss, part Frankenstein”. Growing up on a farm and his skills in agriculture allowed him to develop this wonderful tree.

Currently, Van Aken uses only trees that produce nuts, or those that have pits, because these species tend to be compatible with each other. The fruits produced in the tree of the 40 fruits usually have colors and sizes different from the usual, with more intense flavors.

Origin of the tree of the 40 fruits

The Syracuse University art professor created his first multi-fruit tree in 2008. She intended to produce a natural work of art that would transform itself. He thought of the tree as a sculpture, because he could determine its transformation, based on what it grafted.

It all started a little earlier, in that same year, when the artist grafted vegetables to create strange plants for display in Eden, and soon after, it was when he began working on the hybrid fruit trees that would become the Tree of 40 Fruits.

Each tree begins as a slightly strange-looking specimen that resembles some kind of science experiment and, for much of the year, looks like any other tree. In spring, the trees bloom artistically and over the course of several months they produce an incredible harvest.

The art project, in this sense, gradually became a means of conservation. Van Aken is doing its part to prevent these fruit species from disappearing.

Technique used

The grafting required to create this tree of the 40 fruits is not such a complicated process. Its creator first takes a slice of a fruit tree that includes shoots and inserts it into a matching incision in a host tree, one that has been growing for at least three years. Then wrap electrical tape around the place to join the pieces.

Other times, Van Aken uses a type of graft that involves only the buds. Take healthy buds out of a tree in February and store them in a freezer until August. Then, cut the buds from the branches of a host tree and replace them with those that have been cold stored. Wrap the new shoots in plastic, creating a greenhouse effect.

The idea is to trick the host tree into believing that the new pieces are part of itself. In this way, when everything is going well, nutrients flow through all the grafts thanks to the fact that they share the same vascular system. With this ancient method of natural grafting, Van Aken has managed to create 20 rare hybrid species and unique in the world.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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