Trees are not only good for our environment (take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis) but many trees provide us fruit to eat and shade to relax in on a hot day. Typically one tree yields one type of fruit – until now!
Syracuse University art professor and award-winning contemporary artist, Sam Van Aken had done some research and learned how to make one tree that would give 40 different fruits! He was successful! This is an artist’s rendering of Sam’s tree. The leaves are variegated tones of white, crimson and pink in spring, and it casts a large shadow down on the surrounding ground!
In summer it bears a multitude of fruit. Growing up on a farm in Reading, Pennsylvania, Van Aken had learned a lot about trees and plants and how to take care of them. One process he learned about was called grafting, which is where you can join two plants together to make a hybrid plant. Van Aken used grafting when engineering the Tree of 40 Fruits; which produces stone fruits, or drupes.
Some of the stone fruits are mangoes, peaches, apricots, and cherries. Van Aken sees these trees as works of art! The Tree of 40 Fruits gives a harvest of almonds, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots, and peaches.
The oldest tree Van Aken has is three years old, but he had placed 16 trees in community centers, private art collections, and museums around the country. His trees produce many antique, native and heirloom varieties of fruits you may have never seen!
Share away, people!