How to Paint Fruit Tree Trunks With Builders' Lime


Home gardeners commonly paint the trunks of their fruit trees with builder's lime, also known as hydrated lime. The practice is known as whitewashing, and offers some important benefits to the plants. It's a cheap and easy way to reduce or prevent heat, insects and fungal diseases from damaging tree trunks. Some people whitewash just because they like the looks of it. You can whip up a batch quickly with material readily available from any local hardware or home improvement retailer.

Step 1

Pour 3 gallons of hot water into a 5-gallon bucket.

Step 2

Stir in 3 pounds of table salt until completely dissolved.

Step 3

Add 10 pounds of builder's lime slowly, stirring constantly to combine the mixture well.

Step 4

Apply the mixture to tree trunks with a paintbrush. Allow to dry thoroughly, and add a second coat.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Table salt
  • Builder's lime
  • Paintbrush


  • USDA Education and Extension Service: Whitewashing Fruit Tree Trunks
  • Gardening Australia: Citrus Trees -- Whitewash Recipe
  • Gardeners Corner: Hydrated Lime -- Builder's Lime Equals Hydrated Lime
Keywords: builder's lime, hydrated lime, how to paint fruit tree trunks with builder's lime

About this Author

Axl J. Amistaadt began as a part-time amateur freelance writer in 1985, turned professional in 2005, and became a full-time writer in 2007. Amistaadt’s major focus is publishing material for GardenGuides. Areas of expertise include home gardening, horticulture, alternative and home remedies, pets, wildlife, handcrafts, cooking, and juvenile science experiments.