One person has created a tree that grows 40 types of fruit

Imagine a single tree with many branches, each with its own fruit. You could harvest plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and almonds and still only have to look after one tree! It’s perfect if you don’t have space for a full-fledged orchard in your backyard or garden! Sam Van Aken did just that, creating the “40 Fruit Tree”. His goal in creating this tree was to create a work of art. He wanted a tree that blooms throughout the growing season with many different shades of colour – from white to crimson and all shades of pink in between. He achieved this by grafting different types of stone fruits for about 5 years. He chose stone fruits because they were easily compatible with each other. Sam Van Aken ensured that his ’40 fruit tree’ included vintage, local and traditional fruit varieties that he purchased from local farmers to ensure the survival of the rarer fruit varieties. The result is not only a beautiful, colourful tree but also an abundance of fruit. A beauty and a bountiful harvest on the same tree!

Here is a picture of what Van Aken thinks a mature fruit tree would look like during flowering

For most of the year, the ’40-fruit tree’ can be mistaken for any other tree.

Spring is a time when it takes on its true colours.

These trees are still relatively young, Van Aken grafts only a few species of fruit trees into the rootstock and then lets them mature for 2 years before grafting other types of fruit onto the tree. It usually takes 5 years to establish a ’40 fruit tree’.

Here is an example of the grafting process for combining two trees into one

To date, Van Aken has created about 16 different “Trees of 40 Fruits”. Some of them can be found around the country in cities such as Santa Fe, New Mexico, Pound Ridge, New York, Louisville, New York and Short Hills, New Jersey.

After the beautiful spring flowering comes the long harvest season.

Peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries are some of the stone fruits found on Van Aken trees. They are called stone fruits because the seeds are very large and hard.

Fruit trees can bear fruit for 2 to 7 years

Van Aken considers his tree a work of art. He calls it “sculpture by grafting”. By grafting certain varieties of fruit, he can control how the tree will flower.

Van Aken explains the process in detail in the video below. Check it out!

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