Has a fruit cocktail tree been genetically modified? Before we answer that questions, we should probably explain what a fruit cocktail tree is!
What are fruit cocktail trees?
No doubt you already know what fruit cocktail is – fruit cocktail (also known as fruit salad) is a dish made up of a number of different fruits. Fruit cocktail can be served as an appetizer, side salad or dessert. There are many different recipes available, but the basic concept – multiple fruits as a main ingredient – is the same.
Well, a cocktail fruit tree (also known as a fruit salad tree) bears more than one fruit on the same tree, which is how the tree got its name.
Why would anyone want a fruit cocktail tree?
One great advantage of a tree that grows more than one type of fruit is that it makes it possible for people with limited space in their gardens or backyards to grow several kinds of fruit. There are even dwarf varieties of cocktail trees available, so they can be grown indoors!
How many types of fruit can one tree grow?
It’s possible to get up to four different fruits to grow on a single cocktail tree. But here’s the catch – whether the tree bears two different fruits, or three, or four, the fruits have to be related. That is, one type of cocktail fruit tree can be made up of a single tree with stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines) on separate branches of the same tree. Another tree might be made up of different apple varieties (Golden Delicious, Cameo and Granny Smith). And a citrus fruit cocktail tree would have different types of citrus fruits on it, like lemons and limes. A dwarf fruit cocktail citrus tree is a great choice for an indoor sunroom!
In short the fruit cocktail tree must be made up of fruits of the same type…you could not, for instance, have a fruit cocktail tree that grows applies, oranges and pears.
So…are cocktail trees genetically modified?
So now that you know what a fruit cocktail tree is, and what types of available to you, we can come back to our original questions: are they genetically modified? It might surprise you to hear the answer is “no!”
Fruit cocktail trees are a result of grafting, and age-old horticultural technique merges two or more trees to create a living, fruit-bearing combination. If you have enjoyed eating navel oranges, you have benefitted from age-old grafting techniques. Grafting is often done intentionally, but it can also occur naturally…classic navel oranges were originally a result of natural grafting, as are Ruby Red grapefruit. It’s for this reason that you won’t see different fruits growing on the same branch of the grafted tree. Each fruit has its own branch!
If you’re not keen on the ideal of eating genetically modified fruits (that is, fruits that have had their genetic material artificially altered in a lab), you don’t have to hesitate about growing your own fruit cocktail tree! Created through traditional cross-breeding methods, fruit cocktail trees are a fun, natural way to start a mini-orchard all your own.