Lemon Tree in Japan Bears Eleven Kinds of Fruit!
A 71-year-old farmer has found a unique solution to Japan's chronic shortage of space: grow 11 different kinds of fruit on a single tree! Manabu Fukushima of Onga, Fukuoka prefecture, combines natural horticultural skill, a lot of time and the kindness of neighbors to create one of the oddest trees you'll ever see: a very confused Lemon tree that bears ten other citrus fruits - and Fukushima isn't done yet!
"Next year I want to increase the varieties," according to the smiling farmer, and he'll likely be true to his words based on previous success. In fact, the only thing stopping him may be a lack of suitable citrus fruit "scions" for him to graft.
At present, Fukushima's 30-year-old Lemon tree also bears distinctive Japanese citrus fruits like Dekopon, Hassaku Orange, Iyoyan, Amanatsu and Banpeiyu (a variety of Pummelo).
That's the key word here: "graft"... the art of adding branches to an existing tree. It's actually quite a common practice used by orchardists worldwide, though not to the extent that Japan's Fukushima has. Grafts usually take up to three years before bearing fruit but the spry farmer has had abundant time in which to perfect his technique.
He also enjoys the support of his neighbors, who have provided him with citrus tree saplings from their own trees for the past 15 years. His odd tree has become a local tourist attraction and, says Fukushima, "the harvesting is really fun." (via Mainichi Daily News)
Japanese Innovations Writer