I want to share with you an amazing art project I came across called the Tree of 40 Fruit.
The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of unique hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Each Tree of 40 Fruit is a single fruit tree that grows over 40 different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and cherries.
Sculpted through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in many tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of different fruit.
Primarily composed of American and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially available.
There are hundreds if not thousands of individual stone fruit varieties or cultivars within the family of stone fruits including peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, cherry, and almond.
Within each of these species of fruit there is extraordinary variation in color of blossom, bloom time, leaf pattern, fruit size, form, color, texture, and taste. Due to the similarity of their chromosomal structure it is possible to “graft” these varieties together to form a single tree.
There are at least 8 kinds of grafting techniques, some are very difficult. They vary according to the time of year you are doing the graft and also the type of tree you wish to graft. One of the technique used by Sam Van Aken is called Chip budding and is one of the easier forms of grafting. The type shown on the video above is more difficult and is called Splice grafting (click here for more information on how to do this)
A bud, rather than a shoot, is attached to a rootstock (original tree) to make a new plant. With practice, this technique can be mastered by anyone and, as just one bud is needed to make a tree, it is very efficient.
Suitable for Trees and rose family plants (Rosaceae)
Timing Mid- to late summer