Chip grafting is an ancient technique and by making use of it, an artist and Syracuse University professor Sam Van Aken has managed to nurture and grow trees that are capable of bearing more than 40 different kinds of stone fruits including nectarines, almonds, peaches and apricots.
The process requires a lot of patience. For quite a number of years, Van Aken spliced branches with different buds of varying varieties with the base branch that is called ‘working tree’.
By spring time, the ‘Tree of 40 Fruit’ sprouts purple and pink blossoms while in summer the tree starts bearing fruits of all kinds. Van Aken said, “Part of the idea behind the Tree of 40 Fruit was to plant them in locations that people would stumble upon them. And once they happened upon one of these trees, they would start to question ‘Why are the leaves shaped differently?’ ‘Why are they different colors?’”
A large number of these trees have been planted throughout the US.