Do Fruit Trees Need Probiotics?

Nature’s Smallest Organisms Protect Fruit, Improve Drought Tolerance

Sure, we’ve all heard that probiotics are good for digestion.  And research points to additional benefits  for humans including enhanced immune support, reduced inflammation, mood improvement and weight management. 

But Why Use Probiotics on Orchard Trees?

Some of the things that probiotics do for fruit trees (and trees in general) are a lot like what they do for your digestion. Each teaspoonful of probiotics contains millions of microbes that quickly spread over the roots or leaves of a plant. There they crowd out other organisms that might not be good for the health of the plant, just like our gut biotic products help establish healthy biomes in your intestines.

But the benefits don’t end there.  In a paper about probiotics improving plant health published in Molecular Plant Pathology, Young Cheol Kim and Anne J. Anderson describe some of them: increases in systemic tolerance of stressors like drought, heavy metals and salts; improved nutritional intake; improved growth potential; increased mineral absorption—it’s a long list.

Probiotics have many ways to do this. Some absorb the nitrogen, phosphorus and minerals that trees thrive on in the soil and redeposit it in a form that is easier for them to use. Other probiotics increase food and water absorption, helping the plants to grow by making them more efficient eaters.

Some probiotics help plants with substances that they secrete, such as biosurfactants that break down the cell walls of undesirable bacteria, or hydrogen peroxide that makes it hard for competitive organisms to survive. One interesting way that probiotics help plants is by secreting sticky substances that create bio-film. This bio-film is used by the probiotics to attach themselves to surfaces, but it also coats the roots of the plants with a protective layer that increases their tolerance to drought and resistance to disease. Case studies have shown that specific types of probiotics can provide protection against specific diseases, or even specific insect attackers!

 Our Tenacious Probiotic Blend

SCD BioAg contains 12 beneficial, microbial species grown together in a fermentation process with molasses, the outcome of which is a stronger probiotic community that contains beneficial nutrients and post-biotics.  One microbe that is unique to SCD BioAg, is purple non-sulfur bacteria, a special, super-hardy microbe that can grow in hot springs, thermal vents under the ocean, and in stagnant water. These bacteria are photosynthetic, which means that they can make their own food out of air, water and sunshine like plants do. These allow SCD BioAg to do its job even under difficult conditions.

 Probiotics Easily Integrate with Seasonal Maintenance

Mixed with other amendments in a backpack or hand-held sprayer, SCD BioAg can be part of both spring and fall tree maintenance, with the specific function of breaking down plant material and eliminating unwanted fungus or organisms. It also speeds up the decomposition of fallen leaves and fruit. Matt Bunch, a horticulturalist at Giving Grove, sums it up nicely; “This helps us grow healthy trees and healthy fruits in an ecologically and environmentally responsible manner, relying upon ingredients derived from natural processes, not harmful synthetic chemicals.”