Post Number: 194
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 7:49 pm: || |
Is there a purpose or reason why people paint them white up to 4 to 6 feet? I'm curious.
Post Number: 2968
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 7:58 pm: || |
The people we bought our first house from said they did it to make it look nice with the lawn furniture.
Post Number: 3884
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 7:59 pm: || |
Both of my grandpas used to do that and told me it was to keep ants from invading the trees. Our neighbor does it and said the same thing. He has healthy looking trees!
Post Number: 936
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 8:11 pm: || |
people start painting them, then get lazy, or don't have a ladder, and their neighbor won't loan them one - so only the first four to six feet end up getting painted.
Post Number: 644
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:26 pm: || |
I was told that trees were painted white for visibility so that people would not walk into them after dark.
That was years ago, when the streets were lit and the streetlights would be reflected on the white area of the tree.
Post Number: 288
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:30 pm: || |
Until now, I always thought it was done for asthetics. Guess you really do learn something new every day
Post Number: 951
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:37 pm: || |
Another hall of fame thread in the making. Gotta say I've never heard of this. Is this a Detroit city, metro or wider spread activity?
Post Number: 1685
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:39 pm: || |
I believe the white "paint" is an insecticide. The old guy down our street used to paint his tree trunks and that was his reasoning. Mind you, a few years later they took him away for planning to blow up the neighborhood, yet until that time he was really knowledgeable about gardening.
Post Number: 825
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:44 pm: || |
I've seen it all over and often wondered the same thing. Bay City, Saginaw, Flint, Detroit, mostly on older peoples houses (that in this context means 70+). My great grandpa told me about it repelling ants but I wasn't so sure, he was always telling me strange things though.
Post Number: 1687
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 9:54 pm: || |
6, did use Windex on all types of skin conditions? ;-)
Seriously, I think tree painting is an old-timer's remedy. Our neighborhood tree painting guy was a WWI vet.
Post Number: 3885
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 10:16 pm: || |
Yep, grandpas were WWI vets. Neighbor a WWII vet. Grandpas lived in VA, WV and PA at one time. Neighbor in Metro Detroit, Ontario and California. So I don't think it's a regional thing.
The areas my grandpas were from in VA, WV and PA - all the men painted the tree trunks. In fact, the one grandpa called it white wash, not paint. I think it was mixed by combining lye and something else? I'm not real sure about it, but remember him saying that.
And they always had healthy looking trees, so they may have been onto something?
Post Number: 728
|Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009 - 10:26 pm: || |
The paint deters insects from crawling from the ground. It also stops the sun from heating the bark in the winter which can cause a harmful freeze/thaw cycle.
Post Number: 2505
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 5:35 am: || |
The guys that do the painting are usually Navy Men, sometimes Marines, usually Navy. The anal-retentive branch of the Armed Forces.
Post Number: 5397
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 6:08 am: || |
It was also commonly done during WWII to help cope with the mandatory blackouts.
Post Number: 79
|Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 7:15 am: || |
This is NOT just a Detroit area or Michigan thing as I've seen such painted trees in Pennsylvania as well.
Post Number: 139
|Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 9:19 pm: || |
i thought it was to protect trees from dutch elm disease.
Post Number: 44
|Posted on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 10:25 pm: || |
I always heard it was to protect against gypsy moths. When I was a young kid my family lived in connecticut during a horrifying gypsy moth infestation. I have a revulsion towards caterpillars to this day.
Post Number: 18
|Posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 - 1:08 pm: || |
Oddly, I had heard that the white paint kept squirrels from climbing the tree. Always thought that was ridiculous, and I never understood why anyone would care, but that's the story I got.
Way back when however, my grandfather used to wrap 2 foot wide sections of sheet metal around the trees near the house about 15' up to keep the raccoons from gaining access to the roof and chewing their way into the attic. Never seemed to stop them though as I recall...