Imagine A multitude of different flowers/blossoms and fruit all on the one tree, great for fruit salads!
Trees that support various fruits are not new, they have been around for years. Imagine having a fruit tree in your yard that produces 40 different kinds of fruit! Typically one fruit tree bears far too much for one family to consume before it goes to waste. The Tree of 40 fruit would produce small amounts of different fruits, less likely to go to waste. Trees that produce several different types of fruit are becoming commonplace now and can be found at most local plant outlets.
Sam Van Aken, Award winning Artist and Professor from Pennsylvania has created a tree called “Tree of 40 fruit”. The Tree of 40 fruit is an ongoing series of hybridised fruit trees.
Each tree is sculptured by the process of grafting (Chip budding), and each tree grows over forty different fruits including peaches, plums, almonds, cherries and nectarines. Stone fruit was chosen by Sam because they are the most inter-compatible even though cherries are a little tricky.
Eventually, Sam would like to create a small orchard of these trees in an urban setting. In the Spring the tree blossoms in tones of pink, crimson and white, all through summer it produces multiple varieties of fruit. Sam sourced hundreds of native, heirloom and antique varieties of stone fruit trees for his project.
There are thousands of distinct varieties of stone fruit available, we only see a few because that’s what is available in the fruit markets. Sam draws colour coded diagrammes of the trees, so he knows how old each branch is, when it will flower and what variety the branch is. The trees are an ongoing work of art for Sam; he visits each one a couple of times a year to prune them and maintain the grafts. If you would like to experiment on your fruit trees, then click here to see an excellent resource on grafting. If you want some great advice on naturally keeping the pests away from your new found passion of tree art grafting, then check out: using flowers instead of pesticides.