Tennesseans welcome purple paint as replacement for 'no trespassing' signs


Property owners in Dickson County are using purple paint Wednesday to keep trespassers off their properties.

As of July 1, Tennessee property owners can use purple spray paint on trees, posts and fences to keep people off their land.

The new law says property owners can display purple paint at least eight inches in length and no less than an inch wide between three and five feet above the ground.

The change is welcomed by farm manager Lawrence England. He manages 200 acres of Redden Farms in Dickson County.

England said several groups of people trespass on the land to swim in the Piney River often times causing trouble and leaving trash.

"We do all aspects of a farm here," England said. "We've got tractors with big spears on them to move hay. It's dangerous if they're intoxicated running up and down the road or being reckless. There's a chance that something bad could happen, and I don't want anything bad to happen to anybody."

Detective Clint Hopper with the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office said this will hopefully crack down the trespassing issue at the Piney River.

"In the past we've had a lot of problems with people tearing the signs down so nobody else would know the signs were there so they could gain access and use the excuse well I didn't know,” said Dickson County Detective Clint Hopper. "Now with this purple paint law, there's no way around it you can't take the purple paint off the tree."

Hopper said trespassing is a class C misdemeanor punishable of up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.

"It's usually up to the property owner to pursue those charges,” Hopper said.

Dickson resident Debbie Trull said she had no idea of the new purple paint law.

“You come up here and by chance you don't see that purple because you're not going to be looking at the tree nine times out of 10 if you're coming to the creek,” Trull said. “So you're going to be trespassing and never know it."

Now Trull said she’s going to be more aware of her surroundings.

"I'll be looking at the purple trees make sure I'm not trespassing,” Trull said.

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