This One Insanely Colorful Tree Grows 40 Different Fruits

A peachy rendering. Photo: Syracuse U

Artist Sam Van Aken used his Pennsylvania farm background to take grafting to the nth degree and create this Tree of 40 Fruit, an extreme hybrid where every branch, essentially, bears a different variety of stone fruit, and the flowering bud for each creates a brilliant array of colors in the spring. He uses fruits of "native and antique varieties" that aren't "commercially produced or available," so his fruit is much cooler than your fruit, and the five-year grafting process sounds pretty ontologically complex: Van Aken even floats the idea that he's "transubstantiating" his pluots and such. Whatever's actually going on here, the overall beauty of this thing is commanding a fair amount of attention, and Van Aken says he'd like to plant more, so it's probably only a matter of time before there are Frankentree fruit CSAs and the plant's offshoots multiply and become the "It" plant among the city's backyard farmers. [Tree of 40, Salt/NPR, Epicurious]