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A word of caution about Fedco's tree piant formula

Posted by Pat Pryal 
A word of caution about Fedco's tree piant formula
June 11, 2017 08:50PM
Just wanted to share some info about using Fedco's tree paint formula for winter tree trunk painting. Their formula calls for 1/3 water, 1/3 interior latex paint and 1/3 drywall joint compound. I mixed some up last fall and have had some bad results with it. Almost every 1 and 2 year old whip in my orchard have been affected negatively. Some are better than others, but many are just barely pushing a leaf here and there, and a few look to be possibly dead. The 3+ older tree's seem unaffected.

I had 2 rows of 1 year old whips that I didn't paint because they are on the west side of the orchard and get some afternoon shade and they have leafed out fine and look great, so I know the paint is to blame. The trunks on the tree's look fine if you wipe away the paint residue, so I don't know how the paint harmed the tree's, but it definitely has set them back severely. I just hope I don't lose them ( almost 300 ) A week ago most had not even pushed a single bud yet, but today I see most are showing at least some leaf growth here and there. My other tree's have already sent out 4-6" of growth already so if nothing else I've lost probably close to a months growth. This really pisses me off.

I'm wondering if Fedco ever tested it on younger tree's ? If not, they should have !

Re: A word of caution about Fedco's tree piant formula
June 13, 2017 08:06PM
Flying Spaghetti Monster. Are we allowed to curse on here? That is a harsh lesson. I know that in my mind the web abounds with recipes for a coating to minimize trunk stress in the winter months and in the end I threw some caution to the wind when I finally motivated last fall to make an attempt. At that time I applied a one to one mix of Killz2 and water to the trees that had been transplanted two, three and four years prior.

Each spring I have two or three or so that wake up, like the rest, and after a month evince that they are not happy with my stewardship after all, by curling up leaves and dropping dead; not to mention the odd one or two that do not pass go to begin with. This year was no different. Other than that, I have no mass casualties and must conclude that a 50/50 mix of latex primer and water are not a means to suicide vast quantities of fledgling trees.

Now, what was in the drywall compound that offended so drastically? Or, is the butler perhaps in the primer sourced?

Lakes Region NH @ 1200' or so

393 planted towards a 440 goal mixed apple, pear, plum and apricot...
Re: A word of caution about Fedco's tree piant formula
June 14, 2017 05:06AM
I have used this formula several times over the years on trees of mixed ages, including very young whips, and I have never seen the type of damage you describe.
Sorry for the loss!

Re: A word of caution about Fedco's tree piant formula
June 14, 2017 11:00AM
After going thru the orchard again last evening, most of the whips are leafing out now, but a few are not doing anything (3-4). I have no idea how the paint affected them, but it definitely did. I also put the paint on about 75 first year chestnut tree's that I'm experimenting with and they were affected even worse. Most show no life on the trunks, but are suckering up from the roots. If I ever paint tree's again it will be with a simple 50/50 mix of paint and water. IMO, Fedco's formula should be avoided on ALL tree's !

Brampton Lake Orchards

Zone 4a Upper Michigan
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