Purple paint on this tree marks "No Trespassing". Image courtesy of Creative Commons (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Robert Burns)
A new Indiana law went into effect on July 1st, that may help you mark your property boundaries more efficiently to prevent trespassing. The "purple paint law" is found in Indiana Code IC 35-43-2-2 and stipulates that appropriately applied purple paint can be used to mark your property with the same legal effect as using a No Trespassing sign. Landowners attempting to protect their property from trespassing have often been frustrated by the need to post signs and replace signs torn down, vandalized, or rendered unreadable by the elements. Marking boundaries with purple paint should provide a more efficient and inexpensive option, as well as eliminating placing nails in your trees.
Below are the guidelines for applying the paint marks to indicate a No Trespassing area.
- Each purple mark must be readily visible to any person approaching the property and must be placed on:
- a tree:
- as a vertical line of at least eight (8) inches in length and with the bottom of the mark at least three (3) feet and not more than five (5) feet from the ground; and
- not more than one hundred (100) feet from the nearest other marked tree; or
- a post:
- with the mark covering at least the top two (2) inches of the post, and with the bottom or the mark at least (3) feet and not more than five (5) feet six (6) inches from the ground; and
- not more than thirty-six (36) feet from the nearest other marked post; and
- a tree:
- before a purple mark that would be visible from both sides of a fence shared by different property owners or lessees may be applied, all of the owners or lessees of the properties must agree to post the properties with purple marks under subsection (c)(4).
You can view the code at: Indiana General Assembly
Consider using a high quality boundary marking paint to extend the lifespan of your paint applications.
Indiana General Assembly, Private Property and Trespassing Code of Indiana
Private Property Rights: Rights, Responsibilities & Limitations, Purdue Extension, Education Store
Lenny D Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources