That’s Odd

DSCN2913, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Aside from looking awesome, why would one paint the trunk of a tree white?

12 Comment

  • I think people do this because the paint is either harder for bugs to climb up, or it just keeps them away. Either way, the goal is to protect the leaves from bugs.

  • This was a very common sight in the Midwest during the Dutch elm disease years. As cheese above noted, it was thought to repel the fungus-spreading beetles, but it didn’t and the trees died anyway.

  • Because they’re bigots.

  • Bah! I’m having a flashback to when I was a kid and my grandmother’s neighbor painted ALL of the trees in her large front yard–like 8 of them–like this.


  • This is where all those pigeons in the caption contest sleep at night.

  • This practise is also very common on road/street sides in many countries in Europe, in particular Eastern Europe, where it does help when its dark – in ex Soviet countries it was also a way to keep people occupied…

  • i worked on a farm one summer. the sun was relentless, so we white washed the young saplings to to try and keep them a little cooler

  • I haven’t seen this in a long time but it used to be common in at least Kentucky and Indiana when I was growing up. It was thought to keep termites or beetles or something from crawling up the tree.

  • john ashcroft is on the loose in dc, and ensuring that naked trees keep their nether regions covered up.

  • It’s a common sight in Jamaica, especially around Christmas when people try to spruce up their home by painting indoor and outdoor. Trees were painted with white wash, which I believe repels fungus, etc. I read somewhere that this is a great treatment for trees.

  • Me again. However, nobody in Jamaica paints their tree so far up. Usually the paint is only about a foot from the ground.

  • From our friends @ Google

    “White latex paint applied annually to tree trunks helps protect against killing of cambium or bark from sudden temperature changes in late fall and winter. Painting the lower trunk makes it easier to detect insect borer infestation, and may deter them. Addition of rabbit repellent to the paint protects young trees from bark stripping by rabbits during the winter. “

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