Tree of 40 fruits- A hybrid producing different types of fruits
A step forward towards agricultural evolution.
Stories in our Indian mythology and our scriptures seem almost impossible to believe for a person going by the morals of the 21st Century, Right!
There has been always a debate between beings abiding by the laws of science and those devoted to religion. In other words, the debate between fact and faith is still ongoing. People believe that both these fields are almost incompatible. They say if you don’t see it then don’t believe it. So, basically, this article is dedicated to those who want to believe in both.
“I look at the Tree of 40 Fruit as an artwork, a research project, and a form of conservation,” Van Aken said in a 2014 TEDxManhattan talk.
Trees are an integral part of our lives and hence act as a pillar for our ecosystem. Different climatic conditions provide criteria for their versatility. In a country like India, individual trees portray a religious significance too. So, what if I tell you that there exists a tree that can bear 40 different types of fruits solely on itself. Tremendous right!
One-half of people would believe it to be a work of God but the other half aware of the basics of science will put forth grafting as the culprit.
Tree of 40 fruits- A work of art gaining popularity worldwide
Van Haken made a magnificent discovery by grafting perfectly a tree that produces 40 different fruits. These include the stone fruits or the fruits with pits such as nectarines, plums, cherries, apricots, etc.
Trees become more diverse in color and fruit each year. Van Aken usually plants them with 20 of the 40 varieties that are already growing. He returns for several years to prune and graft the remaining varieties until he is 40. The first tree was planted in 2011 and is expected to be in full bloom in about three years.
Basically, Professor Sam did this unique and incredible feat through a technique called — grafting! Interestingly, according to a report by Dainik Bhaskar, this tree took about nine years to bloom.
Grafting- The culprit behind creating a Frankenstein tree
In this technique, a different planting process is used. A branch of the tree is cut together with the bud and planted in winter by piercing the main tree. Professor Sam began work on his Tree of 40 projects in 2008 using this technique. It all started when Van Aken discovered that an orchard with more than 200 varieties of plums and apricots at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station was about to be abandoned. Growing up on a farm as a child, he said in one of his earlier National Geographic videos that he had always had an interest in farming, so he took the lease and began experimenting with “graft sculpture.” And the result? A “crazy” colorful tree that can carry 40 different types of stone fruits, those with stones, such as plums, peaches, apricots, and cherries. Prof. Sam was able to achieve this commendable achievement thanks to his undying love for agriculture.
He chose these stone fruits because many varieties are neglected by monocultures aimed at yield and profitability. Professor Van Aken said in the video that he viewed his work as an art project rather than a scientific endeavor. “Each variety blooms at a slightly different time,” he explained, explaining how he began to shape and manipulate the tree so that he could bear different fruit during the summer. “When you go out and see them all flourish, it really is an incredible experience.” Before 2008, the garden was the New York State Agricultural Laboratory. It contained rare fruits, as well as around 200 fruit plants such as plum and apricot. The garden was supposed to be closed for lack of money. When Professor Sam saw this, he took this phenomenal initiative and his hard work fruitfully paid off.