These trees are the work of Syracuse University sculptor and artist Sam Van Aken who created the trees in an attempt to make people reconsider how food can be produced.
The project began in 2008 when Mr Van Aken discovered that a New York state orchard, which held varieties of stone fruit 200-years-old, was to be abandoned.
In hopes of saving it, the artist bought the orchard, and soon after started experimenting with something known as ‘chip grafting.’ The process involves taking a sliver off a tree, including the bud, and inserting that into a cut in the working tree.
What he came up with is ‘The Tree of 40 Fruit’, which is in fact, not one tree, but a series of hybridised fruit plants.
WHAT IS CHIP GRAFTING?
The ‘Tree of 40 Fruit’ project was created using something known as chip grafting. The process involves taking a sliver off a tree, including the bud, and inserting that into a cut in the working tree.
The foreign tree part is then taped and left to heal over winter. Mr Van Aken explained that most stone-fruits are easily compatible.
Grafting is usually done in winter or early spring with dormant scion wood.
So far, Mr Van Aken has created and placed 16 trees in museums, community centres and private art collections around the U.S..
In spring, the trees blossom in shades of pink, crimson and white, and in summer, they bear a range of stone fruit, as shown in Mr Van Aken’s CGI image.
‘I’ve been told by people that have [a tree] at their home that it provides the perfect amount and perfect variety of fruit,’ Mr Van Aken told Lauren Salkeld at Epicurious.
‘So rather than having one variety that produces more than you know what to do with, it provides good amounts of each of the 40 varieties.
‘Since all of these fruits ripen at different times, from July through October, you also aren’t inundated,’ he said.
Mr Van Aken’s trees can be seen in cities across the U.S., including Santa Fe, New Mexico; Short Hills, New Jersey; Louisville, Kentucky and Pound Ridge, New York.
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