This tree produces annually 40 different kinds of fruits
Sam Van Aken, a professor of art at Syracuse University in New York has managed to create a tree like no other: it produces 40 different kinds of stone fruit.
It is well known plums growing on plum, peach on peach and apricot on apricot. For all these fruits in your garden, so you will need to plant at least three different trees … Unless you find a tree capable of producing both plums, peaches and apricots. Impossible? Yet this is what created an American.
To be precise, 40 different kinds of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries and even almonds! His name? “Tree of 40 Fruit”, literally “Tree to 40 fruits.”
In 2008 it all started for the teacher, when he learned that the orchard of the Agricultural Experiment Station in New York was about to be abandoned due to lack of funding. It is home to many varieties of stone fruit, some old 150 to 200 years. Thinking that these rare and old varieties would be lost, the teacher decided to buy the orchard to preserve them.
Sam Van Aken grew up on a farm in Reading, Pennsylvania, growing fruit therefore is not unknown to him. Seeing all these trees, the artist then had an idea and if he tried to create a tree able to simultaneously grow a variety of fruits? This is how the project started. After selecting some 250 varieties of trees, Van Aken has made a schedule showing each time flowers.
It was then selected and some began to graft onto a tree root. Then he let the plant grow for two years. After this period, he used a grafting technique called “chip budding” to add new varieties to the branches of the tree.
This technique involves taking a small piece of a tree with variety, taking care to include a bud. This small piece is then attached or grafted onto a branch of the “tree work”. It is left in place throughout the winter until it “heal” and fully integrates the graft.
If all went well, the branch can then be cut to encourage them to grow as a normal branch. This, Sam Van Aken was repeated several times and several trees for 5 years. He thus ended up creating several “trees of 40 fruits.”