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Why Do People Paint Tree Trunks White?


Heat Protection

Painting the base of a young tree will also help it remain cool in the spring. Why? Because white paint acts as a shield that reflects the heat and allows the tree to spend more time on transpiration and growing their fruits.

Additionally, when trees are cooler, they have less stress, which makes their stomata stay open a bit longer for the exchange of gases. That’s extremely important because the more carbon dioxide the trees take in, the more energy they create.

Pathogens and Pests

More often than not, a tree’s bark will crack, allowing insects to creep inside. Once that happens, fungi and bacteria will feed on the tree’s innards, stunting its growth and eventually killing it.

As a result, whitewashing mixtures contain three parts water and one part interior latex paint. The paint itself prevents insects from crawling up the tree and entering inside through the cracks.

Other whitewashing formulas use hydrated lime with water and salt or kaolin. As a matter of fact, people use kaolin to protect fruits from pests because it can be washed pretty easily before consumption.