At first, we thought this tree was a species that no one had ever heard of before.
Sam Van Aken, a professor and artist at Syracuse University in New York, somehow managed to graft various fruit plants together to create a single tree that bears 40 different kinds of fruit, such as apricots, peaches and cherries.
Grafting is a horticultural technique that involves jointing parts from two or more plants so that they look like they’re growing as a single plant.
He told National Geographic:
Through the project, I worked with a lot of growers and at first they didn’t understand. ‘Why would you want to have a tree with that many different fruit on it? You would have to go back over and over to continue to harvest all the fruit.’ The idea came from just sort of a fascination with the process of grafting. When I had seen it done as a child, it was Dr. Seuss and Frankenstein, and just about everything fantastic.
As for why he chose the number 40, he explains that it symbolizes that which is infinite.
Van Aken intends on planting the tree in several locations to surprise the public and make them question it’s authenticity.