The Frankenstein tree is both a curious work of art and an agricultural prodigy, the work of Sam Van Aken, professor of art at Syracuse University (USA). The tree is capable of producing 40 different species of fruit and has been grafted using traditional grafting techniques.
The inventor had the help of a qualified team of biologists and farmers who contributed their knowledge on grafting shoots from various plants. One of the most attractive aspects of the tree is that, depending on the growing season of each variety, the tree It changes color and smells.
The common denominator of the required components is that, In all cases, these are “bone” plants.That is, they are placed on a trunk or branches.
So far, twenty specimens of Frankenstein have been installed in art museums, college campuses, and private lands across the United States. About twenty types of fruit are mixed in the first stage of preparation, followed by sorting and addition of several varieties.
Van Aken managed to graft various stone fruit plants, such as peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and cherriesTo create a single tree that grows 40 different types of fruit.
As these stone fruits are very similar in their chromosome composition, van Aken began combining them using a process of ‘chip grafting’. In spring, the tree blooms in shades of pink, crimson, and white, and bears a variety of fruit in series during the summer.
for the realization of this project with artistic limitations No complicated techniques, chemicals or laboratory experiments were necessary, The process is quite natural. These magical fruit trees are a direct result of native trees, heirlooms and vintage fruits.
The site where the first specimen was planted is an orchard at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, which the professor recovered when he learned it was being demolished.
Van Aken revealed, “I wanted the tree to be disrupted and transformed everyday, and I also wanted to surprise people.” “When the tree It blooms unexpectedly in different colors and you see a variety of fruits hanging from the branchesNot only does it change the way you see, but it also changes the way you perceive things in general,” he told Clarin newspaper.
The versatile tree allows for a variety of combinations, as van Aken’s project actually includes more than 250 varieties of fruit on different trees. For this reason the public is likely to appreciate Various models of Frankenstein exist in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Van Aken intended to tamper with nature to enhance its beauty. This type of initiative has its stipulations: you have to wait years to see if a graft has borne fruit and you have to be very careful with the pruning and the strategic areas in which the grafts are placed, as well as the growth cycle. to work around. of each fruit used.
Van Aken said, “I see it as a work of art, a research project and a form of conservation. It is sculpture through grafting.” The main objective now is to get the “Tree of a Hundred Fruits”.