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What is Limewashing?

tree with limewash

Have you ever seen limewashed trees and wonder why the trunks are white?

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, many begin to plant new trees. You may notice new and old trees alike with bright white bases. Why are they colored this way? The answer is that they are being limewashed. Limewash, or whitewash, is a mixture consisting of hydrated lime, water, and salt, or simply water-based white paint and water,  that is applied to the base of fruit trees.

Why Do We Limewash Trees?

As the sun begins to shine more and temperatures rise, the temperature of the soft tissue of exposed tree bark on fruit trees rises, which could potentially harm the tree. A fruit tree that is affected by rising temperatures may not produce a good harvest; the tree may even die. Painting the trunk of a fruit tree with limewash helps to deflect sunlight and keep the core temperature of the tree down. This, in turn, prevents dehydration and sunscald.

When Should Limewash Be Applied?

If you are planting a new tree, especially a fruit tree, you should limewash the trunk. Citrus trees are especially susceptible to sunscald. If your tree experiences a freeze that causes the leaves to drop off, it’s a good idea to paint it with limewash to prepare it for when hot temperatures return and affect the newly-exposed branches. Likewise, if you have pruned your tree enough to expose the bark to sun, then it should be limewashed. Limewashing should take place on a sunny day when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow the paint to dry quickly and cause minimal damage to the tree. You should apply the limewash to the trunk. Start at the bottom, and paint all the way around the trunk until you have reached 18 inches in height. Now your tree is protected from dehydration and sunscald!

Get In Touch With Porter Tree Services Today

Porter Tree Services can provide you with help in keeping any trees you plant healthy and strong for years to come. Call us today to ask about our tree treatment programs and tree maintenance services!

If you are in need of tree services in Baltimore, Perry Hall, Fallston, Monkton, Timonium, Parkton, Kingsville, Bel Air, Reisterstown, or Nottingham, Porter Tree Services is here to help! From emergency tree removal to fertilization and treatment plans, our licensed tree experts will help you with whatever problems that have taken root!

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