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This Tree Produces Forty Types of Fruit

The living, edible art of Sam Van Aken's grafted stone fruit experiment

Sam Van Aken courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Art

A few years ago, Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University, found an orchard near Geneva, New York that had many varieties of fruit growing on its property, but which because of financial hardship, was about to close. Van Aken stepped in and bought the orchard, and set to making a tree. Through a process called “chip grafting” (taking a sliver of a tree that includes the bud, taping it into a cut in the tree, and then letting it heal over the winter), Van Aken created a beautiful Franken-tree that grows 40 varieties of apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries (and maybe almonds).

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