Thursday, March 5, 2009

A White Winter!

One of the most common questions asked is:

Why are the trunks of the trees painted white?

Yes, it does look pretty cool & they are easier to see at night but there is actually a reason that has to do with the health of our trees.

As many of you know, Kansas weather can be strange - we have snow one day & you can go outside in shorts the next. In the winter, our young trees get “sun scald”. When the sun warms up the south side of a tree in the winter, it can melt the sap inside. This sap then freezes when it gets cold again at night or the next cold day. Just like potholes in the street, this repeated process can crack the trunk of the tree. We paint the tree trunks white so less of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the trunk, reducing the sun scald effect.

Painting the trees is a fun family affair as you can see from the picture of the kids painting peach trees. We put on some old white T-shirts and let the paint fly.

If you’d like to try this yourself we recommend that you use inexpensive “barn paint” & mix it 50-50 with water. This kind of paint can easily be purchased at almost any hardware store or paint retailer. We’ve found that this gets the best results & is easiest to apply. Cheap brushes are a must as the trees coarse texture will damage the bristles. We pick up 2 inch wide brushes for a buck or two.