Amazingly Fruitful “The Tree of 40 Fruit”

“It’s flattering. It’s amazing. But yeah, it’s overwhelming,” Van Aken

This Amazing Tree was known as “The tree of 40 Fruit “was Develop by Van Aken, He grew on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist. Now an art professor from Syracuse University in the US.


According to Van the Tree of 40 Fruit is inspired by the word “hoax” that comes from “hocus pocus,” which in turn comes from the Latin “hoc est enim corpus miem,” meaning “this is my body” and it’s what the Catholic priest says over the bread during Eucharist, transforming it into the body of Christ. This process is known as transubstantiation and it led him to wonder how he could transubstantiate a thing.

Aken’s Tree of 40 Fruit looks like a normal tree for most of the year, but in spring it reveals a stunning patchwork of pink, white, red and purple blossoms, which turn into an array of plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds during the summer months, all of which are rare and unique varieties.


To lose this orchard would render many of these rare and old varieties of fruit extinct, so to preserve them, Van Aken bought the orchard, and spent the following years figuring out how to graft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree. Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud, and inserting that into an incision in the working tree. It’s then taped into place, and left to sit and heal over winter. If all goes well, the branch will be pruned back to encourage it to grow as a normal branch on the working tree.


Each trees has the capacity to grow more than 40 different varieties of stone fruits and inspired by the western Religion, The number 40 has been used throughout Western religion to represent a number beyond counting. An idea of a bounty of fruit coming from one tree, 40 seemed appropriate.

Future Plans of Van Aken for this project:

I would like to continue to place these trees throughout the country preserving these heirloom, antique, and native fruit varieties. Wherever I place them there is a sense of wonderment that they create through their blossoms, the different fruit, and the process by which they are created.

Eventually, I would like to create a grove or small orchard of these trees in an urban setting. I have always stayed away from artwork that educates people, but to some extent these works in addition to being beautiful and producing fruit cause one to reconsider the possibilities with food and fruit production.” 

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