Purple paint law begins in Pennsylvania

Farm & Dairy

It gives landowners another option for marking their property against trespassers

A new law in Pennsylvania may have people seeing purple. Landowners can now mark trees or posts with purple paint as a no trespassing notice.

Credit: Farm and Dairy

(FARM AND DAIRY) – A new law in Pennsylvania may have people seeing purple. Landowners can now mark trees or posts with purple paint as a no trespassing notice.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1772 into law on Nov. 27. It went into effect 60 days later, on Jan. 26.

In Pennsylvania, a person is considered a “defiant trespasser” if they enter or remain in a place where notice against trespassing is given by actual communication, lawful posting or fencing.

Under the new law, purple paint is now considered a form of lawful posting, although landowners can still use traditional posted signs as well.

It gives landowners another option for marking their property against trespassers. Paint is longer lasting and easier to apply, whereas signs fall down, are torn down or damage trees.

Arkansas was the first state in 1989 with such a law. Purple was selected because it was a color not used by utility or timber companies.

Other states followed suit, including Texas, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina. Florida, Idaho and Montana call for landowners to mark their property with orange or other fluorescent paint. 

A purple paint bill was introduced in Ohio in March 2017 by state Sen. Bill Coley, R-Hamilton. It was referred to the judiciary committee. Two public hearings were held, but no further action was taken by the committee.

The Pennsylvania law applies across the state, except Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.

The purple paint is commonly called “No Hunting” paint. It can be purchased as an aerosol spray paint or bucket paint.

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How to mark your property with purple paint

  • Each paint mark must be vertical line at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide.
  • The mark must be between 3 and 5 feet from the ground.
  • Marks must be “readily visible to a person approaching the property” no more than 100 feet apart.

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