Ask Dr. Sabelotodo: Painted Trees

Dear Dr. Sabeletodo,
I’ve noticed that a lot of trees here are painted white at the base. Back home, we paint a big white “X” on a tree we’re about to cut down. What’s going on?

Dear Tree Hugger,
Relax. They paint the trees white to make them more visible to motorists. Think about it: In a place where not even big metal domes in the middle of the road prevent lane-drifting and where you need five guys yelling “¡Dale!” to parallel park (and the good doctor is yet to ascertain if you’re allowed to take those guys along with you on your driving test), the trees need all the help they can get.

An added bonus of painting the trees is that it helps distinguish them from pedestrians who, I’m sure you will have noticed, are fair game for any passing motorist.

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