What happens when somebody’s a fan of both Dr. Seuss and Frankenstein? Well, this!
This tree may look like just some kind of a painting or something fictional but this is real. The tree of 40 fruits literally can flower 40 different fruits! This includes peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, nectarines and almonds. With its dozens of shades of pinks and reds and whites and crimsons, you certainly won’t be able to take your eyes off of it when you see it.
Created by the award-winning contemporary artist and Syracuse University art professor, Sam Van Aken, this masterpiece is more than just aesthetics. While he said that "first and foremost I see the tree as an artwork," (on which we could not agree more) this is also actually a very fascinating study in agriculture and culinary history.
There are currently 16 trees like this in seven states across the country and it took him about five years to graft all of the species in such majestic tree. This involves cutting the buds off a fruit tree then letting them heal to the lateral branches of a rootstock tree. With this, branches from different fruit trees grow off of the rootstock. And then voila! Also, in case you’re wondering, yes, all the fruit is completely edible.
Van Aken wanted people to stumble upon these trees and make them wonder about what they are seeing, since the combination of colors and fruit is really extraordinary. Well I guess he succeeded because when I first saw the picture, I couldn’t believe what I’m seeing!
"As the project evolved, it [also] took on more goals," Van Aken said. "In trying to find different varieties of stone fruit to create the Tree of 40 Fruit, I realized that for various reasons, including industrialization and the creation of enormous monocultures, we are losing diversity in food production and that heirloom, antique, and native varieties that were less commercially viable were disappearing."
Working with trees as art is a very difficult thing to do. But with the right inspiration and passion, we can see where it can lead to.