An Easter egg tree grows in Germany

(AP) SAALFELD, Germany - You thought Easter eggs don't grow on trees? Check out Volker Kraft's garden in eastern Germany, and think again.

Kraft's apple sapling sported just 18 eggs when he first decorated it for Easter in 1965. The number increased year by year; and by last year, the sturdy tree was festooned with 9,800 eggs, artfully decorated with everything from sequins to sea shells.

This time, Kraft has reached 10,000 — and he says he's stopping there.

"There will be no increase because I do not have storage capacity anymore," the 76-year-old retiree says. "I would have to sleep with the eggs otherwise."

Kraft's tree in the town of Saalfeld has become a tourist attraction, drawing thousands of people every year. Decorating trees with colored eggs at Easter is a tradition in Germany — though usually on a smaller scale.

Kraft started with plastic eggs decades ago, but later switched to real eggs and enlisted his family's help in blowing out the insides of the eggs and painting them.

"You can now see here what develops after 47 years, when the tree grows, the wife blows the eggs and the children start painting," he says.

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