Why are tree trunks painted white?
Next time you visit the orchard, you might notice the lower part of the fruit trees have been painted white. You may wonder – why is this done?
There are a few reasons why fruit trees’ trunks are painted white. Typically the painting takes place in winter. This is to prevent sunscald. Sunscald can happen in winter when there are fluctuations in temperatures which cause the bark to split: freezing evening temperatures, followed by daytime thawing. The light white paint will deflect the light.
What type of paint is used? It is recommended to use water-based latex white paint, and to dilute the paint.
Are there other reasons to paint the trunks? Yes! The paint can help identify and alert to any infestation of boring beetles. The paint can also offer some protection. A week or two after painting, the trees are inspected. Visible holes appearing through the paint can indicate a pest problem.
Painting can be a little messy so we always tell people to wear clothes they can get dirty in. We have one example of someone who might have painted their clothes more than the trees.