The Q&A Archives: Painting Tree Trunks White

Question: I just bought a house with several trees--some fruit and some not. Most have the trunks painted. Is this entirely necessary as I think it looks terrible. If it is, what do I paint them with and how often?

Answer: I know what you mean. I love a handsome tree and although I've lived in Arizona for over a decade, those white trunks still stand out to my eye. They are painted with diluted white latex indoor paint to protect bark from sun burn. Yes, I'm serious! Our intense sun can burn thin bark. You would repaint when the paint appears to be cracking, bark is showing through, etc. It's not done to all trees--native trees wouldn't need it since they've adapted to the conditions. Citrus is almost always painted white. Thanks for writing.

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