Why Did People Whitewash The Trunks Of Crapemyrtle?

Q: When I was growing up people whitewashed the trunks of crapemyrtle and other trees. Was this meant to aid the tree, or was it just cosmetic?

A: Farmers sometimes paint young tree trunks white to prevent sunscald or cold damage. My bet is that non-farmers simply liked the look of white trunks in the countryside and began to imitate their rural brethren. I have seen landscapes where someone spray painted the limbs of bare shrubs in winter time. The red, yellow, and purple branches certainly stood out!

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