July 23, 2014

A feather in nature's cap!

Okay, here is a write-up on the present day activities of humans that are intervening with the laws of nature. Recently, I read on a scientific website, about a hybridized tree that could produce 40 different kinds of fruits simultaneously. Isn't this amazing? Well, the actual news is that, this tree is capable of producing forty different kinds of fruits ranging from peaches, plums, etc. If you are wondering that this effort was made by some scientist or researcher, then you are wrong. An art professor, Van Aken, compiled all his knowledge and saved an old tree by renovating it and making it more useful. What I came to know after reading several articles was that a research institute had this orchard, but since the institute had funding crises, it was being shut down. Mr. Van realized the importance of this tree and saved it by buying it. He then worked on it for several years and applied the fundamentals of plant growth (basically he tried to incorporate grafting methods and took various scions from different stone fruit plants). Eventually, the idea of chip grafting worked and the tree gave splendid results.

It took about five years of research and sweat, pain and money to give shape to the whole idea and Mr. Van was successful in his effort. This tree looks like a normal tree during most of the seasons, but during spring it develops a unique patchwork of mixed shades of pink, red and purple. Thus, during this time, there is abundance of peaches, plums, nectarines, almonds and cherries.

Well the purpose of this article cum information is to incite the young minds and readers to work towards innovation and likewise yield productive outcomes. Although not all human interventions may sound beneficial or ethically right, but definitely the ones which aim at salvaging the nature are. Van Aken has grown 16 of such trees till now and planted them in areas like the museum parks, community centers or private art collections, in US. The 40 fruit tree has helped in preserving the diversity of the stone fruit. Some of these fruits are commercially viable and therefore, also offer a source of income for people. Anyway, the concluding remark is that it is overall a great effort by Aken and kudos to his creative and rational objective. After all, a rising tide lifts all the boats!

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