Shepparton News

World record tilt is about to bear fruit

KIALLA MAN SETS HIS SIGHTS ON GROWING THE MOST VARIETIES OF FRUIT ON A TREE

- By Rosa Ritchie

Kialla’s Hussam Saraf dreams of claiming the Guinness World Record for the most types of fruit grown on a single tree, and he’s on track to beat the current record by double.

A master grafter, Mr Saraf’s entry is a tree that bears the makings of a stone fruit salad: white nectarine, white peach, blood plum, peachcot, yellow plum, almond, yellow peach, apricot, cherry and yellow nectarine.

The current world record for the most different fruits produced from the same tree is five: apricot, cherry, nectarine, plum and peach.

The fruit species were grafted to a prune tree in 2000 by Luis H. Carrasco E. of Chile.

At the time Mr Saraf first submitted his entry to the Guinness World Records there were seven fruits growing on his tree.

But he couldn’t resist taking it further.

“If I’m going to break it I’m going to break it well . . . so I just grafted three (more) recently — cherry, almond and a yellow nectarine,” he said.

When Mr Saraf first began experiment­ing with grafting he found it a bit tricky.

“I did it a few times when I was young in Iraq, but not multigraft — I’d do one graft on a tree,” he said.

“But when I came to Australia I started multi-grafting.” Now it’s second nature. “I’m used to it, I can tell if it’s going to work or not,” Mr Saraf said, who knows within two days whether a graft is absorbing food and water from the trunk of its new host.

A tour of Mr Saraf’s garden reveals a whole range of trees bearing a variety of fruits thanks to his skillful surgeries, including one super citrus tree producing oranges, lemons, mandarins and limes, near an apple tree growing six different species.

Mr Saraf said grafting improved a tree’s disease resistance, aided crosspolli­nation, and best of all it presented a great challenge.

He is now in the final stages of authentica­ting his applicatio­n for the Guinness World Record judges.

“They’re just waiting for the evidence,” he said.

“I’m going to send them the grafting logbook, a cover letter . . . and they want three witnesses, one with an agricultur­al certificat­e.”

Then all that’s left to do is the watering.

 ?? ?? Hoping for sweet victory: Hussam Saraf inspects the stone fruit tree he hopes will beat a world record.
Hoping for sweet victory: Hussam Saraf inspects the stone fruit tree he hopes will beat a world record.
 ?? ?? Action shot: A graft in progress.
Action shot: A graft in progress.
 ?? ?? Fruits of labour: Mr Saraf’s stone fruit tree is already bearing fruit, including these blood plums.
Fruits of labour: Mr Saraf’s stone fruit tree is already bearing fruit, including these blood plums.

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