The tree that can grow 40 different types of fruit

'Frankenstein' trees planted across the US

Behold The Tree That Can Grow 40 Different Types of Fruit
Why harvest a whole orchard when you can have it all in one tree! Art professor Sam Van Aken of Syracuse University agrees and has now created 'The Tree of 40 Fruit'.

He said: "The Tree of 40 Fruit is a single fruit tree that can grows over 40 different varieties of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries and this year we'll know if it grows almonds."

Van Aken's experiments began in 2008 when he came across a neglected orchard on the verge of bankruptcy. He promptly bought the property and began experimenting.

The Tree of 40 Fruit project sees each tree take around five years to create, and has yielded 16 trees so far. They are planted in various locations around the United States.

'Chip grafting'

To create the trees he uses a technique called 'chip grafting' - it's not a new process but Van Aken has taken it the extreme.

He told the Huffington Post: "I take a sliver off one of the trees that includes the bud, I insert it into a like-size incision in the working tree, tape it, let it sit and heal in all winter, then I prune it back and hope that it grows.

"I was able to see the grafting process while growing up on a farm and have always been fascinated by how one living thing cut could be inserted into another living thing and continue to grow."

The trees are also a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Van Aken added: "Throughout the majority of the year it's a normal looking fruit tree until spring when it blossoms and all these variegated tones of pink and white and crimson (appear)."