Black Locust black paint rings

Sat May 18, 2013 3:56 pm

OK so everybody on the cub forums know I'm nuts -- I was working in my yard and noticed I could still see a few patches of the old "tar paint" ring on my black locust tree. I guess I'm not as old as I thought -- what were these made with? Kind-a thought DDT and roofing tar but just a wild guess. Back home the Amish paint the lower few feet white, but I haven't seen the old black ring in a long time.

Re: Black Locust black paint rings

Sat May 18, 2013 8:55 pm

You can web search "painting tree trunks". Several reasons for the paint are possibilities.

And a neighbor told me that as a youngster, the and his brother had to paint honey locust tree trunks with oil and herbicide in an attempt to girdle/kill the tree. Just thinking, either the paint was decorative or an attempt to kill the tree.

Re: Black Locust black paint rings

Mon May 20, 2013 10:29 pm

What I am talking about was done only only black locust trees. It has been my understanding that this was done to control carpenter ants -- a destructive and common pest INSIDE black locust trees. To get a colony started inside the wood they must climbing up the trunk and chew in at a week point of rot, narrow crotch, or injury. The black rings were a thick tar-ish paint or putty knife like application. Just tar to catch them crawling up? or was some long residual insecticide mixed in (DDT or Chlordane?)

Re: Black Locust black paint rings

Tue May 21, 2013 5:41 am

Perhaps you mean carpenter worms? Up in this neck on the woods, trees, mainly oaks, were ringed with sticky tar and later Tanglefoot to try to control gypsy moth caterpillars that would drop down to the ground and climb the trunk. Infestations were terrible- it would sound like the pitter-patter of a light rain in the woods from the droppings and trees were being completely defoliated more than once.

Re: Black Locust black paint rings

Tue May 21, 2013 6:59 pm

This was done 40 - 50 years ago, long before gypsy moths were in the area. They are barely seen around here today, but not unknown. Nothing like what I saw in Philly / NJ area in the early 70's. Carpenter ants are a real nuisance --in damaged trees by creating secondary damage and are especially common in black locust trees. Cutting firewood, I have seen them in oak, maple, and hickory. Cut an old hawthorn (almost 2' dia.) down once and had to toss the whole thing. Left the wood in my truck for a day (what an idiot) and they took residence in the cab eating my lunch crumbs. They can cause significant house damage and are actually harder to eliminate than termites.
I don't know for certain that the black tar -ish bands were for carpenter ants but the only other major pest of locust is a borer and a caterpillar-- given their life cycles, I can't possible imagine a trunk band being effective.
Haven't hit the right search engine words to get any info -- just really like to know what exactly these bands were made of.

Re: Black Locust black paint rings

Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:12 am

I have heard of putting tar on a tree wound