If you spot white-painted trees, you had better know what it means

Say what you will about the internet, but it’s become a vital tool in virtually all our lives.

Not only does it help us to stay in touch with friends and family members like never before, but it also has more knowledge that ten thousand libraries combined. Not to mention the fact that said knowledge is only a few mouse clicks away.

Yep, gone are the days where you have to trawl through dozens of books or seek out an expert if you have a question regarding an obscure topic that you need answering. Today, the internet has a correct answer for… well, pretty much anything you might ask it.

If you’re a regular reader on our site, you’ll perhaps have come across articles that seek to explain certain oddities in the world around us. Take, for example, what it means if you see a giant star on the side of a barn, or what it might mean if you see a man with one painted fingernail. How about if you spot square waves forming on the surface of the ocean close to shore?

We’ve tried to answer all these questions and more. Which is why when we came across a mysterious picture online showing trees with their trunks painted white, we decided to do a little digging.

Now, there seems to be a lot going on in the world of trees. Last month we explained the possible reason behind bent trees that you might see in the forest, while paint splashed upon the bark of a tree seems to adhere to a color code that can tell you things about the tree, including its health and future.

Trees might have an orange dot painted on them if they’re to be cut down soon, while purple markings on a tree might reportedly indicate that the tree stands on private land.

But what about trees that are painted white?

Well, we’ll admit to not having a clue what this meant before we did some reading up on the subject (thanks, internet). As per reports, trees are actually painted white in winter to protect them from getting sunburned!

No, we’re not joking, it’s not just deathly pale middle-aged men who need to be wary of the sun’s rays as they lie outside the shade on a tropical beach with their headphones in. Trees do too, apparently.


Now, given that the overwhelming majority of trees are outside, they’re naturally subject to temperature changes. The sun can heat up a tree’s bark during the day, causing it to grow. When the temperature drops at night, however, the bark can cool down and rapidly shrink.

Such changes can end up splitting the bark, in turn damaging the tree’s trunk.

And this is where the aforementioned white paint comes in. When a layer is applied to a tree, it helps to reflect the sun’s rays, thus preventing the trunk from getting too hot during in the day.

Who knew? Not us! Had you heard of this process before? Let us know in the comments.

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