Sam Van Aken, an art professor at Syracuse University, has invented a tree that can bear 40 types of fruits.
He used chip grafting, which involves cutting the buds off a fruit tree and having them heal to the lateral branches of a rootstock tree.
Each unique “Tree of 40 Fruit” grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Sculpted 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.
In his TEDx talk, Van Aken said, “I look at the Tree of 40 Fruit as an artwork, a research project and a form of conservation.”
The technology is quite old. Just that Van Aken is the first one to grow up to 40 fruits on a single tree.
Here is a patent from 1947 on a method of grafting such a single tree bears different varieties of apples or other fruit on branches coming from the same tree trunk.
Publication number: US2523600 A
Patent Title: Method of plant propagation
Publication date: 26 Sep 1950
Filing date: 1 Dec 1947
Inventors: Stark Jr Paul
Original Assignee: Stark Bro S Nurseries And Orch