As strange as it may seem, a single tree is capable of bearing 40 different types of fruits.
Thanks to the genius of Sam Van Aken, an award-winning contemporary artist and an art professor at the Syracuse University, the tree straight from our fantasies has turned into a reality. Today, the tree bears 40 varieties of plums, peaches, cherries, nectarines, and apricots.
Van Aken, who was “inspired by nature and our relationship to nature” started the thought-provoking project as an artwork with the goal to change the way people perceive things in general. As he was trying to search for different varieties of stone fruits, Van Aken discovered hundreds of native varieties, which are less commercially viable, have been disappearing.
This prompted him to set more goals for the project.
In an interview with EPICURIOUS, Van Aken revealed: “I saw this as an opportunity to, in some way, preserve these varieties.”
In order to develop the tree of 40 fruit, Van Aken used an ancient technique called “chip grafting”. Through the years, he spliced branches with buds of different varieties into a based called the “working tree”. The tree bears different fruits during summer time.
Currently, Van Aken sells the trees for $30,000 each. He intends to use the proceeds from the trees to build an orchard that will serve an archive of native and antique stone varieties.
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The Origin of Christmas Tree
According to history.com, Germany started the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century. It is believed that devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some would even build Christmas pyramids made of wood and decorate them with candles and evergreens if the woods are not enough.
A 16th-century Protestant reformer known as Martin Luther was the first person to add lighted candles into the Christmas tree.
Instead of decorating their Christmas trees with candles, people nowadays would use Christmas lights. A star or an angel is usually placed on top of the tree to represent the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity or archangel Gabriel.