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White Washing Tree Trunks


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#1 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 11:38 AM

Do people still white wash the trees anymore?

 

I got to thinking about this when I mentioned in Tahoe's post about the color of his barn.  I remembered suddenly the old guys in my town used to white wash the trunks of the trees every summer, maybe 3 or 4 feet up.  They have all passed on and I haven't seen anyone do this for years. 

 

Is this still a practice or was it an old timer thing?  These guys were in their 70s and 80s 25 years ago.


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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 12:47 PM

Did it in some way help the trees? Or did it help avoid walking into them at night(before rural electrification)? Good Luck, Rick

 

Maybe it protected the bark from insects or deer?


Edited by boyscout862, March 27, 2014 - 12:49 PM.


#3 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:16 PM

Now that you mentioned it, I remember trees getting painted too.

Wonder is it was a deterent to rabbits in the winter since it would be color of snow and probably not taste good.



#4 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:23 PM

That is pretty much ancient history.  Back in the 50's and 60's it was common to paint cuts in trees(and sometimes the base) with a mixture of  paint and listerene. With the idea that it protected the tree from insects and rot. When Dutch Elm disease was prevelant practically every tree was treated that way.

The common belief today is that the trees naturally heal over better if left alone.

You can research this by googling arborist forums.

I only know this because I am very interested in Grafting and have done a lot of reading up on it.


Edited by JD DANNELS, March 27, 2014 - 01:26 PM.

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#5 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 01:27 PM

That is pretty much ancient history.  Back in the 50's and 60's it was common to paint cuts in trees(and sometimes the base) with a mixture of  paint and listerene. With the idea that it protected the tree from insects and rot. When Dutch Elm disease was prevelant practically every tree was treated that way.

The common belief today is that the trees naturally heal over better if left alone.

You can research this by googling arborist forums.

I only know this because I am very interested in Grafting and have done a lot of reading up on it.

 

Cool info.

My sister is currently taking classes for Botany I think, they are working in grafting trees at the moment I think in the conservatory where she works.


Edited by TAHOE, March 27, 2014 - 01:29 PM.

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#6 lyall ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 02:49 PM

did a search for "White Washing Tree Trunks"

and found several sites about it

main reason is sun-scald for younger trees


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#7 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 03:23 PM

I met a guy a couple of years ago that said you have to paint apple tree trunks here.  It has to do with some disease but I forget now just what that was.  He is the only one I see doing that.


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#8 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 03:40 PM

Must of just been a thing in town.  One guy had probably a dozen trees in his yard, and they were always white half way up to the first set of branches.


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#9 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 05:38 PM

Wrapping the bottem two feet with white plastic is another method commenly used today.


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#10 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 05:44 PM

Never heard of this??   Local radio show botany host doesn't even believe in tar or spray sealers when you cut off the branches of trees. Something everyone has done for years.  He did reccommend some clear anti-bug product that sprays on or brushes, but don't recall what that was anymore. He thought Natural repair by the tree itself was best. 


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#11 Bmerf ONLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 06:41 PM

I was told by an old farmer that the main reason to paint the trunks was so in the spring the sun's heat would be reflected. This kept the trees from warming up to early. Delaying the tree buds for a week or two to avoid the last frosts of the year.


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#12 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 06:45 PM

I was always told the white coating was to keep insects from climbing the trees.


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#13 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 06:49 PM

I was told by an old farmer that the main reason to paint the trunks was so in the spring the sun's heat would be reflected. This kept the trees from warming up to early. Delaying the tree buds for a week or two to avoid the last frosts of the year.

You just reminded me, i was told to paint the apple and pare tree trunks white due to this, i forget what it is called but the reflective rays from the sun off the snow would hurt the exposed trunks.


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#14 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted March 27, 2014 - 08:13 PM

I was told by an old farmer that the main reason to paint the trunks was so in the spring the sun's heat would be reflected. This kept the trees from warming up to early. Delaying the tree buds for a week or two to avoid the last frosts of the year.

 

That was what I was told by an old guy, too.  However, it was never really done around here.

 

Ben W.


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#15 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted March 28, 2014 - 09:59 AM

Never heard of this??   Local radio show botany host doesn't even believe in tar or spray sealers when you cut off the branches of trees. Something everyone has done for years.  He did reccommend some clear anti-bug product that sprays on or brushes, but don't recall what that was anymore. He thought Natural repair by the tree itself was best. 

 

If a tree is pruned/trimmed correctly, the trunk will grow over cut limb and close up the hole. I personally would put maybe a light coat of clear coat of some sort to keep water out so it doesn't rot while healing over.






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