As we get into a warmer time of the year in Texas, we'll be spending more time outside. That time could be spent at your local park or at one of the many great state parks of Texas or just wandering around the woods behind your house. There are some symbols you need to learn about before heading out into nature. These symbols could prevent you from getting into big trouble or inform you of a conservation effort. Let's learn about the 8 Painted Symbols You Could See on a Tree in Texas.

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Purple on a Tree or Fence Post

The most familiar painted symbol is a purple line on a tree or fence post. In Texas, this signals that you are about to enter private property and you could be charged with trespassing if caught. This is actually spelled out in Texas law. A no trespassing warning can be in the form of a sign, or multiple signs, a verbal warning or just the presence of fencing. Yes, if you ignore that purple marking or don't turn around and leave the area quickly enough, you could be arrested.

Texas Law

Sec. 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, a general residential operation operating as a residential treatment center, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person had notice that the entry was forbidden or received notice to depart but failed to do so. For purposes of this section: "Entry" means the intrusion of the entire body. "Notice" means: (A) oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner; (B) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock; (C) a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden; (D) the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are: (i) vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width; (ii) placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground; and (iii) placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than: (a) 100 feet apart on forest land; or (b) 1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land.

Other Painted Symbols

Other than the purple markings, there are other markings that have meanings. For instance, an orange "X" means that its government owned property or an orange slash means that tree is set to be removed. Something we don't see a lot of in East Texas but more common in other parts of the country is the trunk of a tree painted white. This is to protect the tree from what's called sunscald. Sunscald is where the bark of the tree cracks because of the cold temperatures at night and then warmed by the sun during the day. The damage from sunscald can make the tree more attractive to pests that could kill the tree.

This is all information that is good to know as we get outside more as the weather warms up. Let's learn what each symbol means below:

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