Visual Metaphor for Intercultural Dialogue: Tree of 40 Fruit

Applied ICDSam Van Aken, sculptor and art professor at Syracuse University, invented the Tree of 40 fruit, already described as “a symbol of acceptance and dialogue across differences” – and it seems well suited to that role.

The Tree of 40 Fruit is a single grafted tree with the capacity to grow over 40 different varieties of stone fruit, including peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, cherry, and almond. Appearing as a normal fruit tree through the majority of the year, in spring it blossoms in variegated tones of pink, white, and crimson, and in summer multiple fruits ripen. Primarily composed of antique and native stone fruit varieties, the Tree of 40 Fruit is a form of conservation, preserving rare, unknown, or now forgotten cultivars that are not commercially available.

Published articles:
Syracuse University Magazine
National Geographic
Zoomer Media