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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
'Fruit salad' tree hoax exposed
Picture of Harry Tomlinson and his fruit tree
Harry Tomlinson said the hoax was a 'rotten trick'
An apple tree which baffled its 94-year-old owner by apparently producing three different kinds of fruit has been revealed as a hoax.

The tree at Harry Tomlinson's garden in north Wales seemed to be growing plums and blackberries as well as apples.

The 'fruit salad' tree was reported in newspapers and on TV news bulletins.

But close inspection revealed that the plums and blackberries had simply been stuck on. The identity of the Abergele practical joker remains a mystery.

'New plants'

Mr Tomlinson's apple tree had grown in his garden for 30 years before it appeared to start to bear plums and blackberries.

Horticulturalists remained sceptical about the apparent discovery before experts confirmed on Wednesday that two of the fruits had been attached.

Picture of 'plums' and apples on the Abergele tree
Apples, blackberries and plums appeared to grow on the tree

Dr Colin Norton, of the Welsh College of Horticulture, said: "We're always interested in new plants but this one, from 10 yards away, you can see it's a hoax.

"It was quite evident that the leaves on the tree were the same throughout.

"The second indicator was that the fruits just didn't go with the particular leaves they were alongside."

Mr Tomlinson, who has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, admitted he had been tricked but remained mystified over who had stuck the fruit to the tree.

He added: "I've found that it isn't true and that somebody has made a joke.

"They've brought some plums from somewhere else and fixed them on.

"I think it's a rotten trick."


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