You Can Make a Fruit Tree Produce Multiple Types Of Fruit

The Tree of 40 Fruit is a series of unusual fruit trees by artist Sam Van Aken that each grow multiple types of fruit—40, to be exact. As spellbinding as its multicolored springtime blooms and summer fruits are, Van Aken used no special lab equipment or cutting-edge technology to create the tree. He just used a simple process that's been relied upon by farmers for ages.

That process is known as chip grafting, and it works by cutting the buds off of a fruit tree and letting them heal to the branches of the "interstock"—a section of tree that forms the new tree's trunk. In the case of the Tree of 40 Fruit, the interstock comes from a plum tree. That's because chip grafting works almost exclusively within a genus—that is, stone fruits with stone fruits, citrus with citrus, and rosaceae with rosaceae (apples, pears, and strawberries, for example). As a result, Van Aken's tree series sticks to stone fruits, growing 40 varieties of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds (which are, in fact, a stone fruit and not a nut). Learn more about plant science in the videos below.

The Tree that Grows 40 Kinds Of Fruit

Watch the artist at work.

What Makes Something A Fruit?

Tomatoes aren't technically vegetables.

How Do Farmers Make Seedless Fruit?

Seedless fruit can't make more of itself, so how do farmers grow it?

Written by Curiosity Staff October 16, 2016

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