To start the Tree of 40 Fruit project, Van Aken scoured New York State in search of varieties of stone fruit, a species that offers up the most diversity. From another stone fruit tree, take a sliver that includes the bud. J ust like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, artist Sam Van Aken, a professor at Syracuse University, is growing a tree that can produce 40 different types of stone fruits. Start with a stone fruit tree that will serve as the base. This proved difficult, since the majority of stone fruits are now grown in California. Started in 2008, the Tree of 40 Fruit is part art project, part commentary on the monoculture of American farms. Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Prune it so that it has an open center and four or five branches. "You see someone do it and you're such a skeptic, but you come back in the spring and it actually grows and becomes a new tree," said Van Aken, an art professor at Syracuse University who now works with about 250 varieties. Map the varieties to keep track of what you've grafted. The Tree of 40 Fruit looks like any other tree. A single tree that bears 40 different fruits? Once a tree has 20 fruits on it, Van Aken will start to look for a home for the Tree of 40 Fruit. Each tree is a 10-year project. He is a contemporary artist who works beyond traditional art making and develops new perspective art projects in communication, botany, and agriculture . The Tree of 40 Fruit looks like any other tree. It's not the product of magic, but years of careful grafting by artist Sam Van Aken. Aken was a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC. It’s a six-year process to get the tree grafted to have 20 varieties. Tape together and let it sit all winter. Van Aken used a technology called chip grafting. "If you're hitting about 80%, that's pretty good," he said. Growing up on a Pennsylvania farm, Van Aken said there was always a "mysticism" around grafting. The idea behind chip grafting is you've "injured the tree and hopefully confused it into thinking what you inserted into it is from itself.". 5. "Seeing that as a kid, it's the most magical thing in the world," he said. It's not the product of magic, but years of careful grafting by artist Sam Van Aken. Created through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Through grafting, one man has created Frankenstein’s Monster-like trees. The art professor, who has also an award-winning contemporary artist, started this project in 2008 after grafting together vegetables for an art exhibit. Sam Van Aken is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at Syracuse University. 1. A single tree that bears 40 different fruits? 3. 4. Fourteen of these trees, each with their own varieties of fruit, are planted across the country. Sam Van Aken, a professor at Syracuse University, is growing a tree that can produce 40 different types of stone fruits. Repeat until you have 40 varieties. Insert the sliver into a like-sized incision in the base tree. 2. The Tree of 40 Fruits is also an exercise in patience. Success is not always guaranteed. The Tree of 40 Fruit is a single tree that grows forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. The cost for a Tree of 40 Fruit is $28,000. But in the spring, it blossoms with varieties of cherry, peach, apricots, plum and other stone fruit.

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