Hard graft: backyard gardener claims world record for tree bearing 10 different fruits | Australia news

Out the back of a suburban home on a leafy Shepparton street, a humble tree bearing 10 different fruits has just claimed a Guinness world record for most types of fruit on a single tree.

The tree is the result of a decade of Hussam Saraf’s hard work, transforming his modest stretch of grass in regional Victoria into a tropical oasis bearing rare fruit trees and edible natives.

“The previous record was five fruits grafted onto one tree, so I decided to graft 10,” Hussam said.

“But I was waiting to hear back and they told me my application was rejected, because they needed five different species, not varieties.”

The previous record of five grafted fruits – apricot, cherry, nectarine, plum and peach – had been held by Luis H Carrasco of Chile for two decades.

Hussam’s initial application, for grafting white and yellow nectarines, white and yellow peaches, blood and yellow plums, peachcots, apricots, almonds and cherries was deemed to only represent five types of fruit, placing him at a tie with Carrasco.

“I told them he had nectarine and peach which they counted as two, when it should have been one. So they said OK, changed the previous guy to four, and me to five,” Hussam says.

“I said OK, I’m happy, it’s amazing. Sometimes you just need to have a conversation.”

Hussam’s record tree was officially accepted for grafting plum, apricot, almond, peach and cherry.

Hussam Saraf with record-breaking tree. Photograph: Hussam Saraf

Hussam told Guinness World Records his tree provided a message of “peaceful coexistence”; the colours, shapes and different leaves and fruits on the branches of his creation a metaphor for diverse society, respect and acceptance.

Hussam opened his garden to the public five years ago, and has since attracted a devout following of enthusiasts who regularly ask him for recommendations and advice.

The process of grafting is at once simple and complex – Hussam’s tree started as a nectarine tree from seed, which was gradually expanded by grafting the branches of other trees together from their sides.

“Every branch is a unique tree by itself,” he says.

“And if I don’t eat the fruits, I give it to my neighbours. Relatives, friends come to the garden and taste it. They like the taste.”

Depending on the time of year, his dense garden flowers with coconut and banana trees, rosella, kumquats and noni fruit, beside more common varieties like strawberries and sweet plum in bulging pots.

“It’s not just a garden, it’s a community,” he says.

“I saw this tree as our multicultural community’s tree, the cultures we have here – religions, traditions, all come together as one. My multicultural work and gardening work I see as one, I’m grafting it all together.”

Hussam arrived in Australia in 2009 from Iraq. Throughout his childhood, gardening was a regular part of high school, where students learned singular grafting with figs.

In the school holidays, Hussam would spend three months at his grandparent’s farm where dates, figs, citrus and pomegranate were fragrant and abundant, and his passion for gardening grew.

Since moving to Shepparton, Hussam has become a multicultural officer at the city’s major public school – a recent merger of four high schools in the area.

“The kids are excited, they’ve followed it on Instagram … the young generation is all on Insta,” he says.

“I wanted to give them an example to aim high. Don’t say it’s too hard; you can do it if you put in the hard work and have a target. Never say ‘I can’t do it’.

“I hope people will come from Bendigo, Melbourne, interstate just to see the tree. To have something big like this recognised by the Guinness World Records, it’ll bring money to the town … and I wanted to prove I could do it.”

Hussam Saraf’s tree in his backyard in Shepparton.
Hussam Saraf’s tree in his backyard in Shepparton. Photograph: Hussam Saraf

Hussam is yet to have received the hard copy of his certificate – he got the news last night when an email pinged while he was posting pictures of strawberries and chillies on Facebook – but when he does, he says it’ll accompany him on markets, where he’ll hang it up.

Still, Hussam isn’t satisfied with one record. He currently has two further records pending – the most variety of stone fruits on one tree, and the tree with the most apple fruits.

He also plans to enter the record for the longest lily flower, which usually grow between 40 and 80 cm.

“My flower so far is 1.530 m,” Hussam said.

“Some day, I also want to grow 50 stone fruit on one tree, each branch with different varieties. Why 50? Someone in the US did 40, so I want to do 50, as a personal effort. He got help, it’s not easy.”

The crowning glory, though, when Covid restrictions ease, would be to beat the record for the largest gardening lesson.

“I’ll need the help of the community for that one,” Hussam says.

“For the record they got 280 people, I want 1,000.”

The fruits of Saraf’s labour

White Nectarine (White Satin) – grafted 05/4/2019

Blood Plum (Satsuma) – grafted 07/05/2020

Peachcot (Peachcot) – grafted 02/10/2020

Yellow Plum (Gulf Gold) – grafted 13/10/2020

Almond (Prunus Amygdalus) – grafted 05/10/2021

Yellow Peach (Florda Prince) – grafted 09/4/2021

Apricot (Glengarry) – grafted 10/4/2021

Cherry (Stella) – grafted 05/10/2021

Yellow Nectarine (Sunwright) – grafted 06/10/2021

White Peach (Tropical Snow) – grafted 06/11/2020




The article from the source

Tags

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close