What do Purple Markings on Fenceposts in Texas mean?

The purple paint and markings you see on Texas fenceposts and trees indicates No Trespassing.

The law was added in 1997 to the Texas Penal Code regarding Criminal Trespass and was created to allow Texas landowners an alternative to posting No Trespassing and Posted signs that would give the same legal bite, but without the cost of signs or having to frequently replace them.

Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code, dealing with criminal trespass, says that: (paraphrased) ‘A person commits an offense if he…enters property of another without consent…and that he had notice that the entry was forbidden.

One of the code’s definition of notice is the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property and that those marks are: vertical lines at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide, placed between 3 feet and 5 feet from the ground, and that their placement is in a locations that is easily visible to a person approaching the property, and that the markings be no more than 100 feet apart on wooded land or 1000 feet apart on open land.

The rule was created in September 1997 and amusingly had an original requirement that landowners post a sign explaining that the purple markings meant no trespassing. That requirement for posting a sign expired one year later, in September 1998.

Placing purple markings around your property – as per the Texas code above – to give notice and mark boundaries, does have the same legal weight as a Posted or No Trespassing sign; unfortunately, few people know what the markings mean.

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