Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 31, 2016

 I’ve wondered, and made guesses, for a lot of years now why the lower trunks of trees here are always painted white…. has anyone else wondered this???? Well, I recently saw some ladies, out along the lake, painting the tree trunks and I decided it was time to find an answer. It is actually “whitewashing,” which is either watered down latex paint or a mixture of hydrated lime, salt and water. It is done mainly on fruit trees, ornamental trees, or just young trees. The whitewash dries into a “crusty” surface on the trees mainly to protect them from sunscald during colder weather! Sunscald can cause various problems, either when the tree is dormant and the bark warms up or if the bark heats up during the day and then cools down quickly at night. The whitewash reflects the light which keeps the bark cool and therefore avoids damage. If the bark is damaged, it can split and allow insects and disease to attack the tree. It seems that this is done in many places around the world, I guess just none of the ones where I’ve lived! Is it done where you live????