A tree that bears 40 kinds of fruit

Art activist Sam Van Aiken used the grafting technique to create a multifruit tree that could rival any store in terms of variety of crops.

Sam Van Aiken, a professor at Syracuse University’s College of Fine and Dramatic Arts, was once inspired by the idea of creating a tree on which pink, purple, crimson and red flowers would bloom simultaneously and 40 kinds of fruit would ripen in the fall. Today his dream has become a reality, realized in 14 such plants.

The project took Van Aiken nine years to complete. He deliberately abandoned genetic engineering in favor of the millennia-old proven inoculation technology. However, it is also much easier to work with.

Today the unusual hybrids continue to grow in Syracuse, but the professor plans to grow a small grove in Portland, Maine, USA.

Another example of an unusual application of grafting plants can be called tomato, a hybrid of tomato and potato that gives a crop on both parts of the bush – underground and above ground. Any gardener can create it.

Many fruit trees are grafted to produce crops on a commercial scale. Farmers choose a seedling of a climate-resistant species and use it as a scion for the desired species to be harvested. And in San Francisco, such grafting is also done on the lower branches of plants near sidewalks that are not fruiting at all.