While this tree looks like it’s been artificially colored to appear like nature puked a rainbow onto a single tree, it actually isn’t. Instead, it really turns into a kaleidoscope of colors every time it blooms in the spring. That’s because it’s part of the ongoing Tree of 40 Fruit series, which combines 40 different stone fruit branches onto a single tree trunk, creating a Frankenstein tree that’s going to stand out no matter where it rises.
Created by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken, the “hybridized” trees are produced by grafting branches from different but compatible types of fruit trees. This allows it to grow healthy and normal-looking for most of the year, before spring comes to reveal its versatile make-up.
Not only does the Tree of 40 Fruit bloom into a multi-color apparition during spring, it bears an equally varied collection of fruits as summer rolls around, too. Van Aken says he picks the 40 varieties from a set of 250 stone fruits that he grows at a private nursery, making his choices depending on where it will be planted, which he grafts one by one over a five year period. Fruits popping out of the trees include cherries, peaches, almonds, plums, nectarines, and apricots, among dozens of others, each of which will ripen at different points between July and October.
As of now, 16 of the hybrid trees have been placed across community centers and museums, as well as some people’s personal collections, in different locations around the US. You can learn more about the Tree of 40 Fruit from its official website.