While bright orange or red tree markings may indicate that a tree is about to be removed, white paint on trees indicates something entirely different. So, why are trees painted white? Although the crisp, bright white looks nice, the paint isn’t for looks. White paint is applied to the trunks of trees throughout town to protect them from the elements. And that’s important because trees make the landscape look nice and provide shade for homes and outdoor living spaces in the summer.
White paint on trees, like plastic, paper, or aluminum tree guards, provides protection from the sun, harsh weather, and pests. Continue reading to find out why people paint the bottoms of trees white and why choosing the right paint is important.
1. Painting the bark of young trees helps keep them from getting sunscald
Plant life, like humans, is susceptible to sun damage. During the winter, deciduous trees, which shed their leaves at the end of the growing season, are especially vulnerable to sunscald. The branches without leaves provide no protection from the sun’s hot rays. In areas with extremely hot climates, trees may be susceptible to sunscald all year.
The white paint on the trunks helps to reflect sunlight and protects the tree’s bark from overexposure. In the winter, an excess of sunlight can cause the thawing of critical tissues beneath the bark. When temperatures drop, they can refreeze, resulting in trunk cracks and fissures. Pests and diseases can easily enter through these wounds.