Add artist Sam Van Aken’s latest project to that list.
Dubbed the Tree of 40 Fruit, the project is exactly what it sounds like. Van Aken has actually created several of the multi-fruit wonders, which are currently on display across the U.S.—mostly in museums, community centers, and private collections in New York and New England.
But how did he do it? Well, if you’ve dabbled with gardening, you’ve probably heard of grafting. Van Aken grafted branches from 40 different species onto a single trunk to create his Franken-trees.
Of course, grafting has its limits: Fruits have to be compatible within their genus. Sadly, this means the dream of apples and oranges living in horticultural harmony on the same tree is not yet a reality. Van Aken’s trees are sourced entirely from stone fruit stock, of the genus Prunus. That category is particularly diverse, including every species of plum, cherry, peach, nectarine, apricot, and almond. That's why he was able to get 40 (or more!) fruits to grow on the same tree.
Due to their Franken-tree nature, different parts of each tree will bloom at different times over the course of spring, creating an ever-changing display of colors and tastes as the season progresses.
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