I don’t know about you, but one of my all time favorite things about summer time is the variety of fruits that are available. I love fresh fruits right off of the fruit tree; there is nothing better in my opinion. But growing a lot of different fruit trees can be a lot of work involving the pruning, cleanup, and overall upkeep of the tree. But artist Sam Van Aken has come up with a solution that will make growing your own fruit that much easier. He has created the Tree Of 40 Fruit. This incredible tree grows over forty different types of fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. This gorgeous Tree Of 40 Fruit not only produces all sorts of fruit, but it is absolutely stunning to look at too, showcasing shades of pinks all spring and summer long.
Sam Van Aken grew up on a farm in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he first learned about grafting, a technique of joining two genetically similar plants together.
Van Aken focused on stone fruits since there are so many varieties and they’re all genetically similar enough to graft, and thus his Tree Of 40 Fruit was born.
The trees start off by looking like a sort of science experiment, and really ends up looking like a regular tree. But when the trees bloom in the spring, they definitely catch everybody’s eye. The beauty of the bloomed tree isn’t even what’s magnificent about this.
Over the next several months, the Tree Of 40 Fruit begins to produce massive amounts of fruit ranging from plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and almonds, all on the same tree!
For now, Van Aken has trees that are three years old, but the results are already visually stunning. Above are some of the fruits from the tree.
Van Aken recently said, “I see the tree as an artwork. As the project evolved, it took on more goals. 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.
Van Aken took something that a lot of farmers and orchards do and created the Tree Of 40 Fruit, something that is almost hard to comprehend and believe. Although the trees are still young, it’s no surprise that they are going to be a well sought after item. I know I would love to plant one in my backyard.
Van Aken’s trees can be found in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. You can find out here if a Tree of 40 Fruit is near you.