My understanding of the painting of fruit trees is that you're just creating a sunscreen for the trees, like those white zinc sunblocks that people paint on their nose at the beach. The key is a physical barrier to the sun, in a light color that won't absorb heat. Latex paint has become a staple here because it's cheap, readily available, and long lasting. Kim's right that the brand doesn't matter.
posted 2 years ago
The reason i ask is because i bought a paint that has lead in it and I'm not sure if that's a hazard to my trees/self.
I think I remember reading in one of Michael Phillip's orcharding books to use interior latex. I've just gone to our local hazardous waste recycling center where they have partial cans of paint free for the taking. I wouldn't use anything with lead, even if free.
First I am surprised that there are any "house" paints that still contain lead, but if it does, you do not want to use it on your tree trunks.
I've used zinc white on several occasions, as others have mentioned brand of paint really isn't an issue.
I usually get the two coat types because I see no advantage worth the price difference in the one coat types.
when I was younger and went to Mexico one of te first things I noticed was that they painted tree trunks white over there.
Back then, I thought it was just a cultural thing because the exact same species were growing 100 yards away in San Diego without paint growing just as well.
I know now that there is a thought process behind it but I personally think in 99% of the cases the over all affect on the tree's life and health is nonbenificial.
I can't think of any living thing that benefits from suffocation of any kind, latex is a plastic and wall paint is known to chip, peel, and flake over the years ESPECIALLY When under constant exposure to the elements which mean that liquid plastic you're painting onto the trunk will end up in the soil around the rootzone of your trees.
Not to mention nowadays we know so much more about a plants dependency on its microbiome.
the bark on a trees trunk is host to several varieties of endophytes organisms that live in the plants tissues. They help fight off disease and stresses even regulating stigmata in the leaves to control moisture loss, or exuding chemicals to deter pest.
A lot of plants and tree's in the,nursery trade are lacking in endophytes as well as soil organisms.
Covering the plant with a sealant certainly won't help establish a healthy microbiome.
If I were worried about Sun light hitting the tree trunks I'd allow the gross to grow tell right around the base or I'd plant an understory to create shade or even hang reflectors from branches before sealing with a temporary sheet of plastic that was blown to deteriorate into microscopic particles that were destined for the soil.
just my two cents
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
posted 2 years ago
Here in Minnesota we've lost a few fruit trees to winter bark damage. The interior latex prevents this damage. The tree continues to grow and as the trunk gets fatter, the bark "stretches" but the paint does not flake off. It just gets spread out more thinly and needs a fresh coat every year or two. Another way to protect bark from winter sun is to have some kind of shield or cover. Spiral wraps work when the tree is first planted but most be removed each spring so the tree can breathe, and that would probably be required of other covers as well. Otherwise it's kind of like leaving a band-aid on too long.
I know there is a difference between latex and plastic because my sister is allergic to latex and there are many foods (figs, mangos, aloe, jackfruit... ) that she cannot eat or handle because it triggers this allergy. Based on her experiences, latex occurs fairly often in nature.
I can easily believe latex paint uses an artificial plastic instead of a natural latex. In fact a quick search shows that they do use artificial compounds and calling it latex is apparently an American term. If I wanted the same substance overseas I would be looking for an emulsion paint.
It makes me wonder if they still use real (plant sourced) latex to makes gloves since she reacts to those, but not paint. Sorry, off topic, but Adam's comment made me wonder.
posted 2 years ago
that's probably why people who are allergic to latex can actually sit in a modern home without having a reaction to the wall paint; it's plastic latex
"Latex paint is a misnomer because there is actually NO latex in latex paint. Latex is a natural product that originally came from the Brazilian rubber tree (Hevea Brasiliensis) and is now mostly produced in SE Asia. The sap of the Hevea is the natural product from which real rubber is made and this is what is used to make latex gloves; it is also the product to which people are developing allergies. This natural latex product is not the same ingredient that goes into paint. What goes into paint are synthetic polymers that look just like natural latex but have a completely different chemical makeup and different properties than latex rubber."
I'm sure the tree absorbs a lot of the polymers as it grows, but I'd be really surprised to find out that none of it flakes off into the soil
even still polymers absorbed by the bark? I'm sure there is a better way.
So what about lime wash instead of latex? It is all natural and can breath as well so you are not suffocating the tree.
I did go ahead and put this on some sunburned loquat trunks but wonder if it doesn't have negative consequences.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” - Audrey Hepburn
posted 2 years ago
I would think CaOH would be a much safer alternative, but can't help but thinking that there has got to be a better way.
I live in a much milder climate than many of you so I don't worry about cracking bark from freeze and thaw, but fro what I'm reading just on simple searches is that it seems like for every method of wrapping or painting it creates a,niche for certain pest to thrive.
who knows what effect the chemical pasteurization of the barks microbiome the CaOH would cause might have? And as it washes off and raises the pH of the soil?
you,may find it accomplishes what you desired, but in a year or two your having problems that are seemingly unrelated so your wondering what caused that, but don't know so you just try to deal with those symptoms with another entangled project, but didn't know the paint or whatever caused it so,when,that time of year,comes around you paint and wrap again.
I would make a tea from the bark of healthy indigenous trees, something that really thrives in your area, and teas of lichens and forest duff and spray the trees with it hoping that endophytes microbes transferred to the trees in hopes the endophytes would colonize and strengthen the bark layer.
Some how I doubt this would happen to trees that were functioning at or near their max natural potential