We all have seen trees bearing fruits of same type, seldom heard about trees with 2-3 different type of fruits, but what about a tree with 40 different type of fruits? This unique plant, very popularly known as ‘Tree of 40’ bears 40 different fruits ranging from peaches to cherries, apricots, nectarines and much more. This plant is also available for sale, at a price of around 19 lakhs.
‘Tree of 40’ was created by Syracuse University Visual arts professor Sam Van Aken, who was always interested in mixing art with agriculture. He started grafting seeds together in 2008 for an exhibition in Eden. The Tree of 40 was the result of continuous research and experimentation throughout this period. Aken says that each tree starts as a slightly strange-looking variety but then grows like any other tree out there. In spring, the trees come into full bloom and bear variety of fruits. It has taken about nine years for this tree to blossom.
The ‘Tree of 40’ project was also one way to preserve the ‘native, heirloom, antique and less commercially viable varieties’ of fruits, that were no longer being grown or cultivated in the United States. Aken has so far made 16 such plants and gifted them to museums, gardens and art exhibitions. He uses a process that he calls ‘sculpture through grafting’, which enables the trees to grow more than 40 varieties of stone fruits.