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Why Do People Paint Tree Trunks White?

White Painting Tree TrunksSo, you're taking a Sunday drive and come upon a grove of trees that look like they've been vandalized. The trunks have all been painted white about 6 feet up the tree! What in the world is going on here? Well, there are several reasons for white painting tree trunks.

For one , it's an effective method of reducing re-infestation of borers, etc., that either hide in trunk bark to overwinter or overwintering in soil to crawl up the tree in spring.

It is also the traditional way to protect fruit tree trunks from heat and sun is to paint them with a thick coat of lime and water. Most of the time the lime and water are heated to make the coating last longer.

This method is called whitewashing. The white paint will reflect the sunlight and thus keep the bark cooler. Some tree trunks are painted with white latex paint to prevent the killing of the bark by sudden temperature changes in late fall and winter. I have been told that adding rabbit repellent to the paint helps protect the tree from winter foraging of the bark.

And finally the white is very attractive and is often used to just make a lane attractive like the picture below!

white painting tree trunks

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