The process of evolution can take thousands of years through natural selection or it can be helped along the way using artificial selection or breeding. Artificial selection has been the way that humans have been able to rear many different types of dogs from their ancestor, the wolf and the way that genetically engineered crops like the Pomato (a chimera formed from the potato and tomato) have come in to existence. Of course when an artist, rather than a scientist takes the reins of this process, you can expect something…aesthetic.
The Chip grafting technique has existed for quite some time now, at least decades, but you can bet it hasn’t been used for a project this extensive or this extravagant until now. Sam Van Aken, a sculptor who teaches at Syracuse University has crafted/grafted a tree that bears forty different types of fruit each year, simultaneously. He used the technique of chip grafting (taping, yes taping a limb from one type of tree to another one growing out of the ground) to create this masterpiece. He took it slow, growing two or three types of tree limbs at a time on a single stem and letting them mature for two years. Then he proceeded further and added more limbs. Now the tree bears forty different fruits each year.
It’s a thing of beauty, it truly is, a ‘universal tree’ of sorts, symbolizing (in a way) how unity in diversity can result in a miracle.