Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tutti-frutti tree

British horticulturist Paul Barnett was blogworthy for spending the last 24 years cultivating a tree in his backyard with a total of 250 varieties of apples growing on it. Now Syracuse University art professor Sam Van Aken is getting a lot of press for growing and maintaining more than a dozen trees, on each of which he has grafted 40 stone fruits. When in bloom, the result is sculptural (IMAGE ABOVE, VIDEO HERE), but the nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries can also be enjoyed by mouth. Van Aken explains in an interview with Epicurious, "First and foremost I see the tree as an artwork....I want the tree to interrupt and transform the everyday. When the tree unexpectedly blossoms in different colors, or you see these different types of fruit hanging from its branches, it not only changes the way you look at it, but it changes the way you perceive in general....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."

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