Liming trees is to brush lime milk, also called arboreal white, on the trunks of trees. This preventive treatment technique is used to treat trees, especially fruit trees, in order to avoid the use of polluting phytosanitary chemicals.
Liming trees: why and how?
What is liming?
We sometimes see white painted trees in the orchards. It's simply whitewash that has been brushed on the trunks. Lime milk is a natural preparation based on lime, as its name suggests, resulting from the thermal decomposition of limestone. This product is found in garden centers as a powder to mix with water, paste, spray or already ready for use.
The price of a can of whitewash varies between 15 and 30 euros, or more depending on the quality of the product. For example, you can buy a can of 5 kg of natural lime paste ready for use for 25 euros (5 kg can treat about 15 trees). Of course, these prices are given as an indication.
The benefits of liming
The arboreal white is a phytosanitary product that destroys larvae, parasites and fungi which grow on the trunk of trees. These insects or micro-organisms cause fungus diseases on fruit trees such as apple or pear tree blight, peach blister or scab. Liming can anticipate and prevent all these diseases that tend to develop in early spring. This preventive treatment should be done at the end of the winter.
Chaul the tree trunk: the 3 steps
1- Before any lime milk is applied, it is necessary to clean the trunks and eliminate the foam, the pieces of damaged bark and identify any wounds that need healing sealant. Perform this operation in dry, windless weather before spring.
Precaution for use: be careful because lime is a toxic and corrosive product, so it is necessary to protect with mask, glove, long garment and bezel when using this product.
2- You must mix the lime with water unless you choose ready-to-use lime milk. The reaction of the mixture lime / water causes a big bubbling and it is especially important to respect the dosages indicated on the instructions for use. Let the mixture sit for several hours before use.
3- The arboreal white is applied with a brush, always starting from the base of the trunk and going upwards. In the end, the trunk becomes entirely white. A single layer is normally sufficient. It is advisable to then dig around the treated tree to loosen and aerate the soil.
Liming trees can be renewed every two years, or once a year if necessary.