white tree trunks everywhere to be seen on Crete

Written by: Mr. Routaki, November ’08

Photos in co-op with Routaki routes


Why are the tree trunks painted white?

If you drive around Crete you will see many white tree trunks. You may think it is a typical Cretan way of tree decoration, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Decoration is one of the reasons why tree trunks are painted white, but the main reason is that the Greeks believe that the white paint ensures that bacteria and vermin do not affect the trunk of the tree.

They assume that the white-painted parts ensure that ants and other vermin do not climb into the tree. Because of the paint these little animals stay on the ground and they cannot attack the trees, this keeps the trees healthy for longer.

White trunks for cooling down

Another reason why the trees are painted white has to do with the heat and the sun on Crete. The white paint helps to reflect the sun’s rays. This makes the tree not too hot. If the bark of a tree becomes too warm, it can burst open. Because of the white paint the bark does not crack open and the tree does not lose its juices.

White tree trunks are therefore a good idea on an island such as Crete for a variety of reasons. The paint that is used isn’t harmful to the trees. There are farmers who also use the paint so that their goats and sheep do not eat the leaves of the trees.

white tree trunks also along the beaches
white tree trunks along the road on Crete

Also as a decoration

Tree trunks are also painted white in Crete for decoration purposes. You see a lot of white-painted tree trunks especially around churches and terraces. In addition to the protective effect against bacteria, it also makes a square or terrace a special place to stay.

white tree trunks, also on the orange trees

What also may interest you:

City walk Heraklion – GPS audio tour.

You can experience this vibrant city with the GPS interactive app called VoiceMap.  Install the app for free and choise ‘Heraklion’. In the webshop of this site you can purchase a code which gives access to all the information you need to enjoy a great day through Iraklio.

If you like to have an impression first:  read this page and follow the blue arrow.