How to Whitewash Avocado Trees

Overview

Avocado trees have a paper-thin bark that offers little protection from the sun. They are susceptible to sunburn and heat stress when young or whenever the leaves are lost due to wind, freeze damage or defoliation of any kind. Whitewashing the trunk and branches protects the avocado tree from the sun until the leaves can recover.

Step 1

Mix equal parts of white interior latex paint with water. The University of Florida IFAS Extension recommends a mixture of 10 parts water mixed with one part zinc sulfate when latex paint is not available. Mix well, then add 10 parts of fine hydrated lime. Mix thoroughly and add more water if needed to thin the solution for spraying

Step 2

Spray or paint the whitewash onto young trees immediately after planting. Strain the solution, if needed, when using a sprayer. Coat the trunk and exposed branches, avoiding the leaves.

Step 3

Coat the exposed trunk and branches of all avocado trees with the whitewash solution immediately after a freeze, hurricane or leaf drop for any reason. Even a small amount of sun can damage healthy trees when the leaves fall off.

Things You'll Need

  • White latex paint
  • Hydrated lime (optional)
  • Zinc sulfate (optional)
  • Strainer
  • Paintbrush or mechanical sprayer

References

  • University of California: Avocado Sunburn
  • University of California: Rehabilitation of Freeze Damaged Citrus and Avocado Trees
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Preparing for and Recovering from Hurricane and Tropical Storm Damage to Tropical Fruit Groves in Florida
Keywords: whitewash avocado tree, avocado freeze damage, preventing avocado sunburn

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.