TheTree of 40 Fruitis an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artistSam Van Aken. Each uniqueTree of 40 Fruitgrows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds.
Sculpted through the process of grafting, theTree of 40 Fruitblossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.
Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It’s then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.
Van Aken has grown 16Trees of 40 Fruitso far in museums, community centres, and private art collections around the US. He now plans to grow a small orchard of these trees in a city setting. For an interview with the artist about the project check outEpicurious.