Imagine being able to harvest and enjoy forty different things to eat from just one tree in your backyard. No, it’s not some Dr. Seuss or Roald Dahl fantasy, but it is pretty fantastic. These “magical” fruit trees actually exist in upstate New York.
The concept of the Tree of 40 Fruit was conceived and has been nurtured by Sam Van Aken, an art professor at Syracuse University. Through a horticultural process known as “chip grafting,” he creates trees which can yield up to forty different types of stone fruit (with pits) like apricots, peaches, nectarines, cherries, and plums.
While it might make him out to be like some sort of ‘Farmer Frankenstein,’ Sam Van Aken’s multi-year endeavor is really as much about the visual artistry of the way the trees bloom than it is about producing food. He wants to surprise and delight anyone who comes across one of his trees. Watch how he does it: