white washing fruit trees with latex paint

Asked September 10, 2020, 11:51 PM EDT

Hello, i have a small fruit orchard (21 trees) located in zone 5a Wexford county. These were nursery trees that i planted 5 years ago and are doing quite well, They have outgrown the spiral trees wraps,but still have smooth trunk bark. Internet research has enlightened me but not convinced me as to what i should use.. Most say to use indoor water based latex paint diluted with water 1 to 1.(others say full strength for borers) and to paint up to the first set of branches and then another 12 inches up the branch. Do you agree with this method or do you suggest something different ? Thanks for reading,,,,,,,,, Jeff

Wexford County Michigan

1 Response

Full strength white latex is best because it lasts longer. Exterior latex is okay if the bark has had several weeks to toughen up first. Don't paint where you hope to get some new bud growth as the paint will inhibit the appearance of new buds.

Paint, even full strength, does not deter borers all that much. Nor does it deter mouse damage. Wire mesh screen cage (1/4 inch mesh) or commercial orchard type (see picture) is the best strategy against mice.

Painting the crotches of the scaffold branches and a little way on the scaffold is sufficient.