Welcome! Log In Create A New Account

Advanced

Biodynamic Tree Paste

Posted by Liz Griffith 
Biodynamic Tree Paste
February 16, 2016 05:44PM
Let's talk tree paste. I hope to apply it for the first time before bud break this year; some of our older trees have been heavily colonized by Black Rot, and I am optimistic that tree paste will help. You can find preliminary discussion (plus Black Rot/FELS talk) here.

Any sage advice and/or favorite recipes? My most specific question has to do with the type of manure used in the recipe: we raise sheep on our farm, so I have easy access to sheep manure and would prefer to use it over the traditional cow manure. However I do see that the NPK levels are different between the two...has anyone experimented with different manures?

Door Creek Orchard
Zone 5a in Wisconsin
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
February 16, 2016 08:53PM
A couple of things on my mind since this thread started. First is, could you substitute EM for manure for the bio-boost? Especially if you cant get manure of a known quality. Second, what about adding rockdust to the mix instead of sand for the abrasive material + a micronutrient boost. Finally, BioD books recommend applying the paste to the entire tree and not just the trunk, even though applying to just the trunk is far easier -- any thoughts on any of this?

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
February 17, 2016 06:08AM
The underlying purpose of tree paste is twofold. Clay as a tissue rejuvenator. Manure as a rich source of microbes. Nutrition is always good ... but that is not especially pertinent here. Anything added like rock dusts may help feed the microbes but don't expect that of bark absorption. I don't even know that the 10% sand portion helps all that much as far as "adhesion" goes. The one other addition I recall others speaking about has been equisetum (horsetail) tea as part of the mix. Silica always has relevance so I get that ... but you would need to be prepared with dry herb from the season before to be able to use this in early spring. That timing is most typical and suits the shifting out of problematic organisms.

Focus now on microbes. Sheep manure should be equally apt as cow. I don't know the critters in either and can offer just one anecdote. A traditional healing method from the Olde World was to apply a "fresh manure poultice" to a badly infected wound overnight. A day later the pus and smell would be gone and new healthy tissue could be seen along the edges of the wound. Manure brought about an organism shift. That's what we want for our trees. Good compost or rich earth probably has what it takes. Effective microbes offer a more limited profile of organisms, and it would be the lactobacilli that would do the most good. Only I don't think near on the level of the ones who thrive in fresh manure.

Others can speak to spraying tree paste slurry. I have only done the "slather with a brush" method. Which I think suits Liz's need as regards black rot canker on larger limbs.

A couple herbal bits as regards shifting canker populations. A blast of fatty acids (fish, neem) can serve to soften the protective lipid coating which organisms use to get through the dormant season to a new spring. This is a core part of the "fatty acid knockdown" strategy to get at bud organisms. Microbes in tree paste applied the next day would find good feeding. Alternatively, some form of chopped garlic (to release the allicin) would flood the canker rim with antimicrobial compounds ... but maybe that's getting too hands on in a commercial block.

These are the sorts of things to think about when contemplating the relevance of biodynamic tree paste.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
March 05, 2016 09:51AM
Thanks so much to you both for your musings and information. I'm going to get the paste applied shortly. Due to lack of previous planning and time restraints, I will be using bentonite clay, aerated well-water from the farm, fresh sheep manure (I found conflicting information about whether the manure should be composted or fresh, but per Michael's applicable story above...), and possibly sand.

Doing prep applications of garlic and/or neem seems like a great plan for the future. And I will definitely use native clay from the orchard and horsetail tea (plenty of equisetum by our pond) for next year's application. I will report back how this first application goes--and will add any additional information and experiences as I go forward. Thanks again!

Door Creek Orchard
Zone 5a in Wisconsin
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
March 09, 2019 08:35AM
Is there any disadvantage to this on younger trees, as the thinner bark does photosynthesize? Is it specific to older trees with thicker bark?

Tom

Tom Kleffman
currently building a fruit orchard from scratch on the Bayfield Peninsula of Wisconsin, 4 miles south of Lake Superior, dead center of the snow belt, zone 5.
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
March 09, 2019 04:52PM
Hey Tom,

In my opinion, there is no disadvantage to putting biodynamic tree paste on younger trees. In fact, it helps to encourage the biological network and protect the tree through a variety of mechanisms. I wouldn't worry about the negligible Pn that occurs through the chlorophyll that's in the trunk .

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
July 20, 2019 02:14PM
I have a few questions. I'm working with a local orchard and trying to enhance tree health. They are mostly organic but feeling the pressures of disease due to time constraints and not keeping up with spraying. I

I've neemed with kelp and fish yesterday. I removed some of the falling off bark around graft unions (trees 3-8 years old) that housed many many insects like wood bugs and earwigs (so many earwigs). I'd like to do a biodynamic paste to protect those areas from possible sunburn and to by a bit of a bug shield.


1. Would a simple Surround application be enough to help? I won't be able to spray manure but possibly a manure tea could be added. I'd love to put it on my hand but I don't think that's do able for 1.5 acres. I'd just be spraying trunks. If I do use it by hand, is it ok to mix it thicker?

2. We have access to fresh alpaca manure. Thoughts on using this? All organic and holistically grown animals.

My personal bioD paste I add kelp, EM, Clay and Diatomaceous earth with some good horse manure (but it's aged). It sticks well and lasts even here on the coast.

Zone 8:
Vancouver Island, BC
CANADA
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
July 27, 2019 09:52PM
I ended up using bennonite with caesin protein (it’s what we had), DE and alpaca manure. 3:2:4 ratios

Nice because it wasn’t so white but more bark color
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
July 28, 2019 09:13AM
Yet another variation on the earth poultice for bark health! Pottery-sourced clay works fine if you don't have a local vein to tap into. I use a dark grey clay found along the Little Ammonoosuc River when we go canoeing. Alpaca manure sounds almost boutique but certainly works. I primarily use sheep manure after a diverse composting phase. The upshot here is that "Biodynamic Tree Paste" is doable, people, and well worth the effort every season. If diatomaceous earth helped with borers, I would include that too, but a charge of sand is more obtainable for lasting grit without the extra expense.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Biodynamic Tree Paste
July 29, 2019 11:36PM
Thanks for the post Michael! Do you think that it makes a difference using bennonite clay with caesin protein or just bennonite? The caesin sure makes it bind to the tree but not sure if there's any drawbacks there of using it. It was what we had on hand and although alpaca manure sounds boutique - it was also what was available (but hard to use - must grind and pound into a paste). Being on a small island, you tend to use what you have as everything is a ferry ride away. Sadly no clay on the property, just rocks and shale.

Before we added paste, I neemed with .05% and also had some kelp and fish in the mix. Having issues with beetle, canker and sunburn/cracking on rootstock upwards. I should post a photo on a new thread.

I must say that painting trunks has make beetle so much easier to spot!
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login