Kathryn Lindsay
Updated July 26, 2015 1:09 pm

It sounds like a mythical fantasy, but Syracuse University professor Sam Van Aken has done it. He’s created a tree that grows forty different kinds of fruit, blossoming off of all the different branches, astounding anyone who sees it. There’s no magic here, just science.

Aken uses a process called “grafting,” which joins the tissue of two different branches together simply by…putting them together. He slices off a section of one branch and attaches a branch from the fruit tree he wants to use by fixing them together using plastic. This plastic acts as a sort of greenhouse, providing the perfect environment for these two plants to fuse their tissue together and become one living, breathing organism.

However, this isn’t a one and done thing. As you’ll see in the National Geographic clip below, this is a process that takes years and years (about eight or nine, in the case of this fruit tree). Aken plants a tree, and lets it grow for three years before even thinking about adding on anything new. Take a look:

Aken makes a detailed diagram of his work so he knows what’s going on where, but this isn’t a science project. He tells National Geographic:

That’s what makes this project so compelling. He goes on to explain that “Unlike previous artworks that I have made, these things continuously evolve.”

It may be a slow process, but never a dull one. Ever year Aken gets to witness new and brilliant combinations of blooms, showing just how awesome nature can be.

(Image via)