The Mystery of the White Trees!

White Trees!

Here is a photo from a blog written by a guy who was a Christian missionary in Romania.

You’ll notice that the bottom meter or so of every tree is painted white. All over the country you see this, along side highways, streets and even foot paths. Why?

This is not an idle question. People all over the internet have been asking it for years.

Millions and millions of trees are painted every year, costing untold sums of money and a gigantic workforce. It is a tremendous coordinated effort that takes place year after year.

Look at some of the theories:

The most common response is that it had something to do with insect repellent.


I believe folks who paint their trees and rocks are those who remember fondly their time in the military.


It originally was done to prevent sun scald since the white paint reflected the sunlight.


I’d assumed that the whitewash on trees was done for visibility as I’ve only ever seen it on trees right next to the road.


The trees that were painted didn’t seem any different than the trees that weren’t painted.


I understood that trees were painted white to stop the trees from becoming too warm in early spring/late winter under a hot sun.

Or last but definitely not least:

They paint the trees so that just as you have been forced off the road you can see what you are about to hit.

So…. what’s your theory on why they paint the trees white in Romania?

20 thoughts on “The Mystery of the White Trees!

  1. I’ve been in Romania and I know the reason why. It is a two-part answer. Firstly, trees painted white prevent people from cutting them down. At least for the most part. People feel that East trees are more visible and should not be I’ve been in Romania and I know the reason why. It is a 2 part answer. Firstly, trees painted white prevent people from cutting them down. Eastern Europeans will take everything that’s not bolted down for their own personal use. Is he even the story of to Romanian men that were in Austria camping near Swan Lake, and they were so happy to see you the abundance of swans there. So they were killing them and eating them at their campsite. You just to say they were thrown out of Austria for killing the swans at Swan Lake. People feel that these trees are more visible and there for people wood possibly stop them from cutting down the trees, these trees should not be cut down for their own personal use. This is how it started. Just do prevent thieves from cutting down the trees. Secondly, it is a continued tradition because yes it reminds people of when they were in the military and because they’re so drunk and bored all the time they just continue to do it because they have nothing better to do. But I’m sure it still does thwart off thieves.


  2. It is done to ward off harmful insects. They do it all around in Europe, for Portugal to Armenia. It is quite pretty too.


  3. They’re painted with lime, so it must be something in connection with insect repelling. Caterpillars most likely.


  4. It’s not as prevalent here in the south of the US as in Romania, but indeed we do the same thing to prevent bugs from climbing the trees. Laslo, you gotta be a ‘Seinfeld’ fan:)


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