Updated 12/02/2020 to include the full email and pdf files that Sam Van Aken has sent us.
Hi guys and thanks for joining us once again here at UK Survival Guides. As always we are glad to have you here with us learning, sharing and growing as a community.
We have some very exciting news coming up over the next couple of days so make sure that you do check back in with us. Alright, that’s enough of that, let’s get to it with the tree that grows 40 different kinds of fruits.
I actually remember seeing something about this before but thought it was one of those Facebook virus links. I came across it again today while searching for something and decided to check it out and how incredible is this…
Art professor Sam Van Aken of Syracuse University is an award-winning artist that grew up on the Reading, Pennsylvania family farm. When in college his focus was often in his art rather than his agriculture.
The truth is, as much as art maybe the opposite of agriculture, I can’t help but think his farming background has helped him along with his style.
If will start to look like any other tree around in a few years, it won’t look anything special. However, that all changes when spring arrives and the art display starts. Over the next several months you can start to see the magic happen as the tree starts producing plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and almonds, including many you’ve likely never seen before.
At the time of writing this post I contacted Sam Van Aken to ask for an updated figure on the number of trees that had been created and am awaiting a response.
These trees have been placed everywhere from museums to even private art collections. Van Aken calls the process that he uses “sculpture through grafting” and it takes about five years to get the 40 fruits grafted to the tree.
Once planted Van Aken visits the tree in the spring for pruning and in the late summer for grafting which he continues to do for three years.
If you would like a better understanding of how the end result is achieved, Mr Van Aken has been kind enough to supply us with the pdf files which you are welcome to download.
Where are the Trees of 40 Fruits Located?
I contacted Van Aken asking a few questions and I received an email back with the following (everything below were sent over for us):
I have been traveling extensively, so I apologize for the delay in response.
There are numerous trees listed below that are available to the public.
Please note that the Trees are in various stages of growth and development.
Tree 37-Berkshire Botanical Garden
5 East Stockbridge Lee Rd
Stockbridge MA 01262
Started October 2017
Tree 46-West Collection
By appointment only, please email:
Tree 70-Roanoke College
Olin Art Center
Planted March 2017
Tree 75-Syracuse University Campus
Syracuse New York
Tree 84-Colby College
Colby College Museum of Art
Planted October 2017
Tree 105-106 New Harmony
Historic New Harmony, Indiana
Planted March 2015
Tree 124-Sculpture Space
Utica New York
Planted March 2017
Tree 125-21C Hotel Bentonville
Planted February 2017
Grove of Tree of 40 Fruit
Everson Museum of Art
Planted October 2016
Sam Van Aken
Ted Talk 2019 Ted Salon: Trailblazers
Ted Talk 2014 TEDx Manhattan
PDF File Downloads
I can’t help but be amazed the more that I look into this. Not only is Van Aken creating these masterpieces, they grow pretty much perfectly to how Van Aken had imagined. Check out both the artist rendering and the tree 75 diagram pdf’s from above and you will see what I mean. Incredible!