This magical tree of 40 fruits has got its roots in the future
20 September 2017
The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of unique hybridised fruit trees by artist Sam Van Aken, designed to grow over 40 different types of fruit on one tree.
For most of the year it’s a normal looking fruit tree, until spring when it blossoms in various tones of pink, white and crimson and then eventually bears fruit such as peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and cherries.
To start this project, Aken needed to collect hundreds of different types of stone fruits and then ‘graft’ them together to form one tree. Due to the similar chromosomal structure of these stone fruits, it is possible to use a method called chip grafting; Aken cuts the bud off one of the trees, inserts it into a like-size incision in the working tree, tapes it into place and lets it heal and grow. It takes about 5-6 years for the tree to fully grow.
At the TEDxManhatten talk, Aken explained that we are constantly losing variety and diversity in the fruit that’s available, so he looks at the Tree of 40 Fruit as an artwork, a research project and a form of conservation.
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Video courtesy of TedxTalks