Surprises gives you life, surprises gives you science. This time we are not talking about the last attempt to ‘play God’, but about an artistic creation that, without intending it, has ended up becoming a tree that produces more than 40 different types of fruits.
Its architect is the art teacher Sam Van Aken, from Syracuse University (New York, United States) that began this journey in 2012 with one intention: to use the tree as a mosaic through grafts to combine different flowers during spring.
What emerged as a simple work of art, It has ended up becoming a naturist and natural plea in favor of biodiversity and a technique as ancestral as grafting, which allows the tree to be loaded with stone fruits in summer.
This is the Frankenstein Tree of the 40 Fruits
Baptized as the Tree of 40 Fruits, from Aken’s own website they explain that in it about forty stone fruits grow. They mention peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds, although we do not know if they are counting different varieties to arrive at the round figure.
Why stone fruits? Because the chromosomal structure between them is very similar and favors their hybridization in the same stem. For this, Van Aken was not alone because had different biologists and farmers that not only contributed botanical knowledge, but also varieties and grafts.
Surrounded by shades whites, violets and whites During the spring, Sam Aken’s intention is to turn this tree into a reservoir of varieties and not a commercial tree, as he proposes to turn it into a preservation method since the grafts are, mainly, of old varieties and almost relics that are not commercially profitable.
What we do know is that this fruit does not have a commercial spirit, since it is not offered for sale. Fortunately, The Tree of 40 Fruits is not alone. Aken has nursed these trees since its inception, of which there are more than a hundred, many of them scattered throughout the United States.
In the future, it will not be either. Van Aken intends to continue turning these trees into an artistic, natural, conservationist and thoughtful plea with the intention that they become the 250 fruit trees within a few years.
A complex process because the fruiting of the graft, the pruning and the placement of the graft itself are very meticulous processes to see the result could take years.
iStock | Sam van aken