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Why Paint Trunks White?

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On a recent trip to Northern Baja, Mexico I noticed the bases of many of the Washingtonia robustas are painted white. This is unheard of in SoCal. Why do they do this?

It is also common to see this on the Ficus benjaminas throughout Mexico as well.

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On a recent trip to Northern Baja, Mexico I noticed the bases of many of the Washingtonia robustas are painted white. This is unheard of in SoCal. Why do they do this?

It is also common to see this on the Ficus benjaminas throughout Mexico as well.

I've seen it a lot in the Bahamas & in Miami, mostly Cocos. I'm not quite sure why either.

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Termite Protection ? This practice is common on trees in urban areas. The bottom 5-6 feet are painted white with some sort of plastic waterproof paint with an oil coating.

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This has been discussed before, and the current consensus points to street safety but mostly cultural style.

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Insect repellant, we would use it on all of our fruit trees to prevent mostly ants from crawling up and destroying fruit, you can still purchase at some nursuries that mainly cater to the orchard fruit grower.

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When we were in Cozumel last summer we noticed all the palms in medians and along main roads were painted like that. We decided that at least in Cozumel the practice was for driver safety. Outside of tourist resorts no one paid much attention to care of landscape palms and that oversight showed.

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Insect repellent and style here in the South. But you rarely see it done anymore.

There was a thread on this once, but I cannot find it. If anyone has the link, please post it here.

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Insect repellent, and for orchard trees, avocado for example, to protect against UV in winter. Wet bark exposed to full Mediterranean sun in winter, can expand and contract excessively, drying and shrinking until it splits. Then consider where the bugs like to live, and it pretty much offers 2 in 1 protection. The style thing probably came afterwards. "Hey, my trees look cool!" - said the farmer.

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Those arent painted, they are actually "dypsis white stick willies" :D . Get the seed!!!

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Hello All

I hope my bad English let you understand what I mean :wub:

Liming is an old tradition from the cultivation of fruit trees, which were painted with lime to prevent sunburn damage and insects.

However, this proved that this practice brings more problems than solutions.

Lime paint used for whitewashing is washed for the rains, dissolved and leached down to the ground. To get this lime to the soil, dissolved in water, has the property to elevate the pH

As you know, pH is a measure of the ability of the soil to facilitate the exchange of minerals and cause them to be absorbed by the fine roots of plants

The ideal pH value is between 6 and 6.5. When raising the pH, the soil becomes more alkaline; iron for example, is retained chemically and can no longer be taken by the roots

If the soil is alkaline, as in many cities, with the whitewash just worsen the situation and sick over the palm trees and other plants too

Liming may result in the palm suffering from lime-induced chlorosis, whose symptoms include yellowing of foliage and the loss of ability to perform photosynthesis, the process of preparing its own food.

In other words, the lime makes the palm may die have hunger

Cheers

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Thank you for the explanation Pindo.

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Hello All

I hope my bad English let you understand what I mean :wub:

Liming is an old tradition from the cultivation of fruit trees, which were painted with lime to prevent sunburn damage and insects.

However, this proved that this practice brings more problems than solutions.

Lime paint used for whitewashing is washed for the rains, dissolved and leached down to the ground. To get this lime to the soil, dissolved in water, has the property to elevate the pH

As you know, pH is a measure of the ability of the soil to facilitate the exchange of minerals and cause them to be absorbed by the fine roots of plants

The ideal pH value is between 6 and 6.5. When raising the pH, the soil becomes more alkaline; iron for example, is retained chemically and can no longer be taken by the roots

If the soil is alkaline, as in many cities, with the whitewash just worsen the situation and sick over the palm trees and other plants too

Liming may result in the palm suffering from lime-induced chlorosis, whose symptoms include yellowing of foliage and the loss of ability to perform photosynthesis, the process of preparing its own food.

In other words, the lime makes the palm may die have hunger

Cheers

Pindo,

Your english was just fine. I understood 100 percent. It may also explain why liming was popular here, as we have acid soils and many gardeners add a bit of lime to their gardens every year or two.

Keith

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I have no idea in some cases. Growing up in Texas there were many mimosa, redbud and other small trees, and many yards had all their trees painted. There were very few palms, zone 7b/8a. Some paint was lime, others were just painted with white paint. They didn't need to raise the pH, and wouldn't have known about liming anyway, they were generally in the poorer neighborhoods without sophisticated landscapes. Some also were growing inside auto tires cut to fold inside out, looking a little like flower petals, and they were inevitably painted white also. Bizarre, but cool.

Why? I think it was just a regional folk art expression. I certainly never knew any specific horticultural purpose. I agree that everybody's ideas on here of real purpose are likely for other zones, however.

Maybe a temperate horticultural folklorist (THF) should study this... OK, maybe not, since there is not a large group of THF on here!

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Termite Protection ? This practice is common on trees in urban areas. The bottom 5-6 feet are painted white with some sort of plastic waterproof paint with an oil coating.

Yes,here even in South india i have seem many gardens having their dicot tree trunks painted in white Acrylic Emulsion or lime.Every spring season.And was told this wards off termite grouth around the trunk.

And by the way nice topic and is very useful.

love,

kris :)

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None of this explains why some Mexicans paint the legs of their burros.

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