Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

The Tree of 40 Fruits

When it comes to graft­ing fruit trees, most of us would be hard pressed to top Sam Van Aken. How­ever, in urban areas around the United States, small bands of intre­pid grafters give it a clan­des­tine try. Not only does Van Aken  seek to cre­ate a fas­ci­nat­ing tree of great beauty, his unique cre­ation could be the per­fect answer for fruit gar­den­ers with very lim­ited space. Read all about his grafted stone fruit trees here.

Cre­ated as a liv­ing sculp­ture, when in bloom, the tree looks almost sur­real.

It all starts in this well ordered nurs­ery of heir­loom vari­eties.  Amaz­ingly, there is not just one of these spe­cial trees, but sev­eral, dot­ted around the coun­try.