Being a tree owner means walking a fine line between protecting a living thing from the elements and protecting your property from vandals.
And, while once upon a time, this kind of vandalism might have meant a few hearts and initials carved with pen knives, it’s gotten worse. As a tree owner, there’s nothing worse than coming out to the front of your property to find indelible ink running from graffiti on your tree.
Join us, today, as we show you how you can remove spraypaint graffiti from your trees without damaging them. While it’s certainly challenging, there are some great methods that could prove incredibly effective for you.
Gang signs. Cartoon potraits. A bikini thong colored in between the V of two joined branches. All of these are not only common graffiti, but incredibly common graffiti on tree trunks.
What amounts to a funny joke for someone else can mean hours of expensive cleaning and concern for your tree.
And obviously, there’s some concern over lasting damage. Depending on what paints the “artist” used, they may cause toxic damage to trees, clogging the lenticels and rendering your tree’s respiration ineffective.
You need an answer you can rely on to get graffiti off of your tree safely. Luckily, we’ve got just that:
This might sound like a cheap solution, but there are many great brands on the market, and they are certainly worth looking into. Just beware: some of them may cause certain respiratory issues. Depending on the brand and your tree, cancer development could even be a longterm issue.
Do your research. Read reviews. Become a member of a tree maintenance forum and ask for advice.
Using “oldschool” methods such as scrubbing or pressure washing machines is actually an option, too. The goal is to use these with caution.
Hand wash a smaller tree. Pressure wash a larger tree. Always stop if what your doing is causing parts of the tree to flake or break off.
When using a pressure washer, stand away from the tree initially to make sure that the spray doesn’t immediately cause damage. As a precaution, set your washer to medium or low, and only step in from three feet away towards the plant, if necessary.
Wait, hear us out. While many plant parents might balk at the idea of taking sandpaper to their precious babies, it can actually be very effective.
Use a light 400 grit sandpaper, and sand the painted area by hand. Rub in circles, like you’re polishing a table or waxing a car, and apply medium to heavy pressure until the lettering fades.
While it might be tempting, never use a power sander to do this work, as it will be too good at what it does. You’ll end up losing more bark than you need to and that damage can’t be fixed easily.
Graffiti removal is a pain in the neck on a good day. Apply that same graffiti to a living, breathing tree, and the problem becomes much worse.
Hopefully some of today’s pro tips have set you on the right path to cleaning up your precious trees. Interested in learning more about the intricacies of tree maintenance? Check out some of our other blogs, or get in touch with us to find out how Tree Worx’s tree removal services can benefit you, today!