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I make my cuts on my fruit trees and regular trees.  I try and make the cuts as close as I can to the tree.  I don't want a bud to sprout again in the spring.  Yes, I try and use my finger nails to take off any buds I see.   But I can't get to them all.  Also suckers are a problem...Getting all the buds at the base of the tree.  Just wondering if there is a chemical that will kill a bud (prevent if from sprouting) that does not hurt the rest of the tree.  I'm going way out of the box here.  I'm thinking of things like iodine, hydrogen peroxide, 2-4D, 2-4-5T.  Is there a chemical on the market that will do this??  Can I put it in a little spray bottle or does it have to be applied like a paste??  Thanks, Brian in California

Hey Brian 

Stop picking at it, you will give it an infection.  Bark is the tree’s skin, if you keep cutting into it or keep picking off the buds then all sorts of nasties can get in and your tree will die.  Chemicals to kill buds dont exist because they will also get under the bark and kill the whole tree.

When the tree is dormant in the winter cut any branches from last year you don’t want back as close as you can, in time your tree will take shape. Trees up to 3 or 4 years old are  meant to look a bit ugly dont fret about it ma duck. 

No, I am not insane.  I've been a commercial grower for over 20 years.  I'm retired now.  I just play with my fruit trees and grapevines for a hobby.  Yeah, I could use a tree sealer for any issues that are bad.  In my almond orchard I would use latex paint (with a very very small amount of bleach added) to seal my wounds/major cuts.  Many farmers thought I was crazy...They many of them started doing the same.  It would seal the cut cheaply, prevent borers, prevent infections, and the white paint would aid with sunburn.  I think I'll just go back to a pocket knife for my deeply embedded buds...

Obelixx

It must be a USA thing.  Never heard of anyone doing it over here, certainly not as normal gardening practice anyway.   Never seen any signs of wound paint on pruned stems either in acres and acres of fan trained commercial apple and pear orchards in my local area both here and near my last house for the last 25 years.

The only thing I have seen is a lime whitewash on the bottom 3 to 5' of fruit trees to keep away winter moths who lay eggs in the bark and also to prevent sunburn on young trees.

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