Tree of 40 Fruit

Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for posting this.
    Such heart-lifting beauty!

    My daughter and I visited my mom yesterday. We showed Mom the gorgeous photo and read her the story---she was delighted with both and asked to see the photo several times. I have printed a copy for her so that she can look at this living work of art whenever she likes.
    Mom is 92, a widow living in assisted care, and has lost much of her vision, hearing, and mobility. Thanks, Junglekeeper, for brightening up her day!
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

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    My pleasure.
     
  4. bonsaipf

    bonsaipf Active Member

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    That is so awesome! I am very envious. I have one that produces 5 varieties of cherries abut that's it. That tree is so beautiful and it looks like it would have something for everyone. I also that you for sharing that.
     
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I wonder, given the seeming inevitability of some grafts failing, what the final number will be in, say, 5-10 years....
     
  6. Charles Philip

    Charles Philip Active Member

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    I had no idea, Prunus was such a gigantic, important genus.
     
  7. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    The photo is beautiful, but the
    looks to me like the colours have been 'adjusted' to make them more dramatic. While I know that some peach, nectarine and almond varieties have deep pink flowers it seems to me that most fruiting cherries and plums are white or pale pink, colours that are barely represented in the photo. Also, would being on the same rootstock cause all these different species and varieties to be in full bloom at the same time as this photo shows, or would they maintain their normal staggered bloom times? We are told that
    . If so wouldn't they flower at different times as well?
    It's a neat idea, but I'm a bit skeptical.
     
  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Indeed, the entire picture in the article is clearly a rather poorly photoshopped rendering, and is entirely phony. Actually quite bothersome, to the degree that it misrepresents the real tree(s), some of which are shown at http://www.treeof40fruit.com/works/tree-75/. As one would expect, they are far less spectacular in real life.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    As are we all.
    Real? What is reality? It is what you perceive it to be.
    My mom thinks the tree is lovely, and stickler though I am for truth, far be it from me to crush this perception.

    "When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
    Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
    'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,---that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' "

    ---John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn
     
  10. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Well, then try flying sometime with merely your arms as wings: try planting a tree upside down,putting your hand on a hot stove, or dining on a salad of poison hemlock. On this forum, next time a poster asks about a flower, tell them it's a dinosaur--you'll find reality is far more than perception, but typically a matter of physics, biology, and innumerable other constraints that no amount of imagination can in actuality transcend. We define our subjective reality to a large degree, but that's merely a small part of what we mean by 'reality'; a photo-shopped rendering of a tree that looks nothing like the actual tree being discussed (and is nowhere in the story acknowledged as such) isn't a matter of perception, but one that borders on deceit. Keat's poem, classic as it is, falls prey to your initial assertion: if reality is entirely subjective, then so is beauty, and so is truth. Which would render his conclusion meaningless.

    It's a shame I have to state that nothing personal is intended in my observation: I read nothing in my reply that warrants such, but I am sorry just the same if you've taken it that way. I'm glad your mother finds the picture beautiful, and indeed, your touching story caused me to hold off immediately adding my bit to the discussion. As you say, if she finds it beautiful, good....but this doesn't make it true: if beauty alone was truth, there'd be no such thing as hagfish.

    My post was in response to the questions/points raised by the previous poster: the image provided is clearly not the actual tree(s) in the attached link, does not in any way accurately represent it, and as per the points raised in the preceding post, is unlikely at any point in it's development to look anything like it.

    That's objective reality; it says nothing about, nor passes any judgement on, your subjective take. But it's undeniably a fact. No desire to 'crush' your mother's perception intended or implied: unless she is on this forum, she needn't ever know. If you feel the fact it's a fake has put you in a bind, well, that's why I suggested it was 'bothersome': I find the tree creator's deceit distasteful for this very reason.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
  11. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    As the activities you mention are not ones I perceive as meaningful, I have no vestige of an urge to perform them. However, there are assuredly some individuals on this planet for whom they do have meaning.

    I have a friend, a talented artist, who has a degree of color-blindness. When we look at the same picture, or even a sheet of pastel copy paper, he sees its color with his eyes, his perception, different from mine. Not better or worse. Different. Reality is determined through perception, and every person's perception is unique to themselves.

    The photo, be it photoshopped or not, shows a beautiful tree. I can appreciate this depiction while simultaneously knowing it to be enhanced.

    If an actor wears makeup, is that a lie? We know that he or she does not look that way in offstage life. But we go along with the illusion, let it be a support for our own imaginations.

    Many scientists were and are inspired by imagination. Einstein visualized mathematical concepts. The ultimate inspiration for the creation of the ring structure theory of the compound benzene came to August Kekule in a dream---after years of scientific study. Both science and imagination are necessary to discovery, innovation, and refinement of ideas. Without science we would lack understanding of the world around us---without imagination we would lack science.

    Sam Van Aken is an artist and a farmer. He had the idea to preserve these heirloom varieties of fruit and then studied the science involved to make this dream a reality.

    'Knowledge, far from limiting imagination, enables it to serve its central function...Imagination plays a vital role in justifying ideas as well as generating them in the first place.'
    ---Timothy Williamson
     
  12. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    At traffic lights, does your friend simply decide which colour he wishes the light to be, and act on his perception, or does he acknowledge that despite his blindedness, the reality of green, yellow and red not only matters, but can have a very real, shared consequence, and that his condition requires him to adapt to reality, instead of defining it differently?

    I'm afraid you're missing the point entirely, but I've said my piece. You continue to ignore the vital distinction between subjective and objective reality; while the two are obviously related, you must make the distinction daily to survive. To your question: yes, the actor embodies a lie, but it is de facto understood that in the context of theatre, we are to suspend disbelief. But only within a narrow and pre-defined context. By your logic, we cannot say that we 'know' there is a different looking individual offstage at all: according to your reasoning, the made-up performer is all there is. I think you know as well as I do, based on your making the distinction, that to honestly believe so would be delusional, and potentially dangerous. By stating "we know there is a different individual offstage", you make my point. But we're getting a long ways from trees.

    Van Aken's dream is a reality: a series of grafted twigs on rootstock that flower sparsely, at different times, novel only in the sheer number of grafts. Van Aken's image, however, isn't even a good example of digital art: It certainly has no relation to the reality of his 'dream'. Why, I wonder, does he not show the actual tree? Perhaps because the reality turns out not to be his dream at all.
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    He goes by position, not color.

    I perceive the actor on the stage: I perceive the actor on TV interviewed at home. I remember both.
    One image does not supersede the other---rather, the two are complementary, parts of the same whole.

    The tree image is a design, a logo, a symbol, an idea. An ideal.
    Here is a link that shows video footage. Of living, actual trees. Presented by CBS News and Charlie Rose.
    Fruit looks pretty good to me. So do the trees.
    Not all dreams are achieved quickly. Some take time to grow.
    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index....ken_syracuse_university_food_inspiration.html

    Yes, the tree in Junglekeeper's thread-starting article above is an idealized design: Van Aken makes no secret about this fact. To me, it is beautiful---just as the actual, real, old trees and their combined scions are.

    Sam Van Aken should be commended for preserving this orchard. He is not only saving something old but is creating something new. He has found a way for these venerable trees, which without his intervention would have been destroyed, to live on.

    And these are actions that should be not stifled, but encouraged.
     
  14. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    My posting was prompted by the lack of discussion about what is presented in most news articles as a 'photo' of an actual tree in bloom. Since this is a botanical/horticultural website it seemed an appropriate place to raise issues about the tree as a tree rather than as a concept or work of art.

    The second link provided by togata57 is one of the few that acknowledges the 'photo' as being an artistic 'rendering' and includes the series of drawings it was based on. It is also interesting because the interview gives more of the horticultural background for the project as well as photos of actual trees in flower and fruit.

    To my surprise, an internet search for inter-species/varietal grafting produces lots of people doing similar work on citrus, prunus, and malus trees, but without much media fanfare. I think that much of the reason for Van Aken's publicity success is the beauty of the artistic representation he provided to the media. By choosing to provide a heavily modified photo rather actual photos and/or his original series of drawing, he used the media's laziness to his advantage. As a grower, Van Aken knows that none of his trees will ever look much like the his drawings, or their photo-shopped brother. Their colours are not that vivid and they will never have all their branches in full bloom at once and no leaves visible. I'm glad that many people got pleasure from seeing Van Aken's 'photo' and reading about his project. I did myself; but I would have preferred the lines between art and horticulture, truth and beauty, to be more clearly defined.

    I think that forums like this can play an important role in encouraging participants to be as wary of media hype in horticulture as anywhere else. Beauty and truth are both important and valuable, but they are not the same thing. In gardening, as elsewhere, when something sounds (or looks) 'too good to be true' it probably is.
     

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