unsightly to damaging depending on the severity

Sunscald is a winter occurrence, more common on young fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherryplum, cherry, apricot and plum. The south sides of the tree are usually affected, because of sun reflected by the snow, which warms the frozen bark and cause it to thaw too quickly.  This will cause the bark to crack which, in severe cases, can lead to structural damage to the tree.  


  • This can be prevented by painting the south sides of trees with white paint. Use exterior white latex paint diluted with water. Two parts paint to one part water. Do not use oil-based paint. Apply the paint to the lower third of the tree.
  • As the trees mature, the bark thickens and become more resistant to sunscald.