Why Whitewash Trees in the Fall: The Benefits of Whitewashing and the Best Recipes

In the fall in gardens and dachas. Autumn whitewashing is often explained by the need to protect the tree from frost or winter pests, but most often it is done only out of habit.

Why whitewash trees in the fall

Fall whitewashing has both supporters and detractors. Gardeners who do not whitewash trees argue that the benefits of tree whitewashing are unproven and such a practice is not popular in other countries of the world, where trees even without whitewashing grow beautifully.

Proponents of fall whitewashing believe that this procedure has many benefits. According to them, whitewashing trees in the fall is necessary to:

  • Protecting the tree from winter frosts and the formation of ice on the trunk;
  • fighting pests that overwinter in the bark;
  • repelling rodents and hares from painted trunks;
  • to “wake up” the tree later in the spring;
  • to protect the bark from temperature changes that are characteristic of autumn.

To whitewash trees or not – every gardener chooses for himself. If you decide to whitewash trees, start this fall.

When to whitewash trees in the fall – the timing of the procedure

Most gardeners start whitewashing trees in late October or early September, just before the frost. But if the autumn is cold and the air temperature often drops below +10 degrees, you can start the procedure at the beginning of October.

Do not delay with whitewashing. When the air temperature is +3 degrees and below, you can no longer whitewash trees.

How to whitewash trees in autumn – whitewashing recipes

The most popular material for whitewashing trees is a lime solution. This is a very effective and inexpensive material, which is easy to prepare. But such a solution has a big disadvantage – it is short-lived and easily washed off after precipitation.

Prepare a lime solution for whitewashing as follows: 1.5 kg of slaked lime mixed with half a bucket of water. Then add 250 g of copper sulfate and 50 g of casein glue or flour paste. The solution is thoroughly mixed and infused for some time.

Another good material for whitewashing is a water-based paint. It is very durable and does not harm the wood, is resistant to direct sunlight, and is air permeable. You do not need to add anything to the paint – just apply it to the trunk in a thin layer.

Garden water-dispersion paint is a great material for whitewashing. You can buy it at an agro-store. The paint contains additives that are good for the plant. It protects the trunk from frost and harmful UV radiation, and it lasts on trees for about 2 years. The only significant disadvantage of the material is that it is expensive.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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