Sam Van Aken, an art professor, grafted parts of different stone fruit trees into a single fruit tree to 'make' the Tree of 40 Fruit.
After spending many years on figuring how to graft parts of the trees onto a single fruit tree he developed a timeline of when each of the 250 varieties of stone fruit that he had worked with would blossom in relationship to each other and started grafting a few onto a working tree's root structure.
Once the working tree was about two years old, Van Aken used a technique called chip grafting to add more varieties on as separate branches. This technique involves taking a sliver off a fruit tree that includes the bud and inserting that into an incision in the working tree.
After about five years and several grafted branches, Van Aken's first Tree of 40 Fruit was complete. It actually looks like a normal tree for most of the year, but in spring the plant reveals a gorgeous patchwork of pink, white, red, and purple blossoms, which turn into an array of plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds during the summer months