Can you imagine a tree that grows 40 fruit types? Well, that is what you get from Sam Van Aken. The professor from Syracuse University and a technician of grafting has done the unthinkable. He has expanded the limits of plant grafting to produce a magnificent tree like never before.
If you look at it from a distance, it looks like a typical tree. But as you get closer, it is a different thing. From the flowers, types of leaves to the different kinds of fruits, this is an awe-aspiring tree like no other. What is interesting about this tree is how hybrid fruits grow together and acquire multiple flavours from other varieties.
According to Professor Sam, this tree is an ongoing project that aims at devising unique fruit hybrids. But it is a new project. He has been around for eight to nine years, and that results are fantastic. So far, he has been able to work on several trees that are already producing the said number of fruits. There are also those that are already holding multiple grafting. And he is not stopping. His aim is to explore the limit to which grafting can get extended and the possible outcome.
However, his initial idea when starting this project was probably to have a tree that can produce 40 fruit types. He actually wanted to make people experience the beauty of a tree that can blossom all different types of flowers as well as provide multiple varieties of fruits. But as the project grew, the technician of grafting tried to push the limited, and the outcome was amazing. So far, he has grafted numerous trees that grow 40 different types of fruits.
It is also essential to note that Sam has been grafting stone fruits for all his trees. The reason could be the structure benefits that these varieties have over the other varieties. Most of the stone fruits have very steady branches that can support many fruits. The trees are also easy to graft, and they adapt really. That is one thing that makes them a perfect choice for this kind of project.
The grafting work is not difficult; it may appear, but require a lot of expertise to get it right. According to Sam, he creates his trees through chip grafting or chip budding. This is an easy type of grafting where a chip of wood containing the bud is cut off the scion, and a similar shape chip is cut out of the rootstock. The scion bud is placed in the cut part of the rootstock and grafting tape is then used to hold the new bud in position.
After a few days, the new bud will start growing, and it will form a branch, which will grow a hybrid of fruits. That is what Sam is doing to create his “Tree of 40 Fruit.” He just takes budding branches of the fruit tree that he wants and transplants it to his tree.
What makes the Tree of 40 Fruit an attraction is not just the fruits but also its flowers. Having 40 different types of fruits means that you are likely to experience 40 different types of flowers- based on colours and shapes. So, you can imagine having such a tree in your compound during spring when most of the plants are flowering. The experience is amazing.
During summer, you get to enjoy a bumper harvest of 40 fruit types from each of the trees. Note that all of these fruits are hybrids of each other, and thus the taste and the smell are definitely unique from the typical fruits. So, with just one of these trees, you will be enjoying a range of fruit varieties. So why plant a garden of trees when you have a single tree growing more than what your garden can provide? That is what Sam Van Aken is providing.
Sam is not only providing a tree that can grow 40 fruit types but a tree that grows lesser available fruit varieties. So, he has made it easy for fruit lovers to have one single tree that can grow all the fruit varieties that are difficult to find.
This is a fantastic project that will not only change how we do fruit grafting but also how we grow fruits. You might not need a fruit garden any more if a single tree that grows 40 different fruits varieties.