Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Whitewashing Trees, Mayhaw Items, and Cut Flowers

Whitewashed fruit tree.

A fruit tree with whitewashing. Image: University of California

Whitewashing Trees

Mr. Vince Deshotel, an Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) Agent based in Evangeline Parish, sent this email, “We had a request for what is recommended for whitewashing trees. I am guessing for worm or insect control. Would you mind giving this individual a call? This is an area of tree management with which I am not familiar.” At first AHA thought whitewashing trees had fallen out of practice because it happens infrequently, and he had not heard of its use at any training. Still, he looked up the practice and found some information at the Florida Extension website, “Whitewash is used to protect the trunk and major limbs of trees from sunburn (i.e., overheating and potentially killing the living tissue under the bark). The whitewash may be applied prior to stumping or hat-racking trees and cover the entire trunk and major limbs that will remain after severe pruning.”

The safest whitewashing formula is “Water-based latex white paint, mix with water at 30:70, 40:60, or 50:50 (paint: water), e.g., 1 gallon paint:1 gallon water. Use a consistency that can be sprayed onto the major limbs and trunk.” Another formula uses hydrated lime, but this ingredient is caustic and can cause chemical burns.

Mayhaw tree.

Mayhaw fruit Image: Brent McFatter

Louisiana Mayhaw logo.

Logo of the Louisiana Mayhaw Association

Mayhaw Items

Brent shared some images of his fruit and trees and celebrated, “[It] Looks like it’s going to be a good year [for mayhaws]. ”This email from Brent prompted AHA to apprise gardeners about a new LSU AgCenter publication with a long name, “Effect of Pruning, Fungicides and a Biocontrol Agent on Fire Blight and Rust Disease Development in MAYHAW PRODUCTION.” This publication is a downloadable document and is available at no charge for your garden reference library. Printed copies are also placed in AgCenter office.

Fire blight is a bacterial disease, and quince rust is a fungal disease. This new publication reports, in detail, the most effective practices included pruning and a blend of pesticides for controlling both bacterial and fungal pathogens.

Karen contacted AHA about a source of mayhaws. AHA went to the website of the Louisiana Mayhaw Association ( ) to find a source of mayhaws. At the top of the website is a link, “Where to Buy,” and at this link is a list of mayhaw producers that sell mayhaw seedlings, fruit, juice, and jellies. This page advised, “Some mayhaw products listed are seasonal (mayhaws, juice, etc.) and may not be available except during the spring harvesting season. Listings are generally added during the year, so continue to monitor our website.”

Dr. Kiki Fontenot holding some cut flowers.

Dr. Kiki Fontenot encourages growing cut flowers with vegetables. Image: LSU AgCenter

Cut Flowers

The purpose of this paragraph is to point readers to a new AgCenter video featuring Dr. Kiki Fontenot who talks about “Cut flowers can help with vegetable plant pollination.” Dr. Fontenot and her graduate students discuss the reasons for growing flowers in a vegetable garden:

  • Plant rotation, to prevent insect and disease attacks,
  • Pollinators, to improve the pollination success of vegetables like squash, cucumbers, watermelons and more, and
  • Cut flowers, to share with friends, with neighbors, for church altars, and more.

The video demonstrates how to cut fresh flowers correctly from zinnia plants. This practice extends the bloom season for more gardening pleasure.

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or .

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

4/22/2024 7:17:48 PM
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