As Summer officially fades this week we will turn our attention to the gorgeous Fall foliage of our New York State trees. One tree in particular caught my attention recently. Not because of the reds, yellows and oranges. This tree was white!

I wondered why there would be a white tree in my neighborhood. Then we started looking at places to pick apples this Fall and I saw pictures of white trees! Why are some trees in New York State painted white?

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I am referring to a tree trunk and sometimes branches painted white, not a trail marker. Trail markers help you find your way on a hike and present in a variety of colors but according to Green Belly, the color themselves don't have a particular meaning.

I have also heard the stories of seeing purple paint on trees. If you see the color purple on a tree it is said you should turn back as you are about to trespass. Enough of the rainbow, what does it mean if you see a tree painted white?

Photo by Keri Sheehan on Unsplash
Photo by Keri Sheehan on Unsplash

Taste of Home reports that certain trees, especially young fruit trees, are painted white to protect them from Winter 'sunscald'. Think of it like putting that white Zinc cream on your nose to prevent a sunburn or wearing white in the Summer months to keep you cooler.

We tend to have Winter days in New York where the temperature hits 50 and then drops to 24 at night. When it's warmer the trees start to wake and think it's Spring. Ultimately this causes the bark/trunk to split, sunscald. According to Green Vista, you can prevent sunscald injury to your fruit trees by painting, or white-washing, the trunk of your trees.

There are differing theories as to what to use for paint on your trees. Check out the video below for some detailed advice on white-washing your trees this fall.

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