Artist Sam Van Aken used the technique of grafting to make a tree bearing 40 types of fruit and it's more superior to every other tree you've seen
Some trees are just overachievers.
Contemporary artist and Syracuse University professor Sam Van Aken has created a series of hybridised trees, which each grow more than 40 different types of fruit including peaches, plums, almonds, nectarines, apricots and cherries.
According to Van Aken, the inspiration to create this unique project came from a fascination with "grafting" he told National Geographic.
It didn't hurt that he'd just purchased a 200-year-old stone fruit orchard in upstate New York – one of the last orchards growing stone fruit trees – which provided him with the ideal setting to undertake the project, so it became as much about preserving the fruit trees as creating new flora.
The painstaking grafting process involves "slicing a bit of a branch with a bud from a tree of one of the varieties, and inserting it into a slit in a branch on the 'working tree'. Then wrapping the wound with tape until it heals and the bud starts to grow into a new branch," a process that Van Aken repeated over several years, according to National Geographic.
Van Aken's Tree of 40 Fruit blossoms into lush pink and purple hues, with the fruits beginning to ripen in July. The artist has created more than a dozen of the trees, which have been planted across the US in locations including Pound Ridge, NY, San Jose, California and Newton, Massachusetts. They sell for $30,000 (around £19,350) each.
"The far-reaching implication of these sculptures include issues of genetic engineering, biodiversity versus food monoculture, and, ultimately, the symbiosis of humankind’s relation to nature," Van Aken writes on his website.
He stopped at 40 fruits because that represents "the infinite, a bounty that is beyond calculation".
Is it just us, or is anyone else thinking about the tasty pie you could make from this tree?