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

Serena Williams had the best response for reporter who criticised her

"Are you serious?"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
20 Jan 2017

Married at First Sight’s Caroline reveals truth about marriage to Adam

Steel yourselves, romantics

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jan 2017

Listen to A-listers narrate the history of Planned Parenthood

“No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Jan 2017

Wife Swap set to return with one-off Brexit special

What happens when a Remain voter finds herself living in a family of Brexit fans?

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jan 2017

The 2017 Feminist Calendar: celebrate the sisterhood all year round

The future is female

by The Stylist web team
19 Jan 2017

Unicorn lattes are the new brunch trend taking over your Instagram

These healing concoctions are almost too pretty to drink

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jan 2017

Will & Grace is officially coming back to TV and we can’t wait

NBC has ordered 10 new episodes of the iconic show to air later this year.

by Moya Crockett
19 Jan 2017

Men refuse to apply for jobs that use “feminine” words

They don't want to be "sympathetic" or "caring"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Jan 2017

This new DIY divorce app vows to help you to ‘consciously uncouple’

Because there really is an app for everything nowadays

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jan 2017

Rachel Court wants employers to watch for these abuse warning signs

A woman who survived being shot by her husband has shared a letter from her old boss, revealing the extent to which her partner controlled her life for years

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jan 2017