Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The stunning tree that grows 40 different kinds of fruits and flowers

Tree-for-web-rect-989x700.jpg

It might sound like something conjured up in the deepest, most secret vault in Willy Wonka's factory, but one real-life scientist has done it.

A professor at Syracuse University in New York has created a single tree that grows 40 different kinds of fruits in summer and blossoms into a spectacular array of pink, purple and white flowers in spring. 

Sam Van Aken used the method of "chip grafting" - where a branch of leaf buds is inserted into a slit in the branch of a different tree - to create the plant that can grow most fruits seen down a supermarket aisle, including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds.

"The idea came from a fascination with the idea of grafting," Van Aken told the National Geographic of his creation named 'Tree of 40 Fruit'. 

"When I'd seen it done as a child it was Dr Suess and Frankenstein and just about everything fantastic."

A variety of fruits grow side by side on a single branch of the tree

A variety of fruits grow side by side on a single branch of the tree

For him, it's more than science; it's an art project. "I was really interested in the idea of a hoax. Part of the idea for 40 Fruit was to plant them in locations that people would sort of stumble upon."

Having started in 2011, the professor says it'll take in total eight to nine years to complete one fruit tree. While the first one he planted has all 40 fruit varieties, he anticipates it'll be another three to four years before it reaches its peak blossom. 

So far Van Aken has created more than a dozen of the trees that have been planted at museums around the US.

A tree diagram is used to map which fruits will grow where

A tree diagram is used to map which fruits will grow where

Take a closer look at the mind-blowing creation in the pictures and video below.

Tree
tree
branches
Tree
A branch of many blooms

A branch of many blooms

Related

tumblr_inline_nr4wucNYti1qzf6t4_1280.png

Catloafs to unicorn burger buns, meet Britain's most innovative baker

10.JPG

Meet Tonkey, the world's most adorable dog

rexfeatures_4914502a.jpg

"It's Earth 2.0" What we know about new planet Kepler-452b

rexfeatures_4909116f.jpg

New book showcases beautiful vintage tattoo photographs

rexfeatures_4417694a.jpg

Is this reworked London Underground map what we've been waiting for?

dino.PNG

Jurassic World remastered with high heels is beyond brilliant

Comments

More

The loneliness crisis: can you really make friends on an app?

"I’m filled with a warm, first term at Malory Towers-style hope"

17 Feb 2017

People are more scared of deadlines than they are of actually dying

Makes sense to us.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

Seven year old girl asks Google for a job - and gets the best response

"Dear Google boss, when I am bigger I would like a job."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Feb 2017

The Love Actually cast have already started filming their reunion

And there are behind-the-scenes photos. WE CAN’T DEAL.

by Moya Crockett
17 Feb 2017

“You were my best friend”: watch the heart-breaking #HurtBae video

“I did everything… I had sex with other girls. I did everything.”

by Amy Lewis
16 Feb 2017

This Yorkshire bakery has created an entire range of unicorn bakes

Move over rainbow toast/bagels/toasties

by Amy Swales
16 Feb 2017

This is the best drink to pair your cheese with (no, it’s not wine)

Is it gin? Is it Prosecco? No, it’s…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Science says this is the one incredible benefit of staying single

It seems as if staying single may be the best route to a happy-ever-after…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

Quiz: which Love Actually character are you?

It's time to find out which of the film's most iconic characters you're actually like...

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Feb 2017

A free cheese and wine festival is coming to London

And there’s chocolate involved, too

by Moya Crockett
16 Feb 2017