Ever see paint on trees when you're adventuring in the woods? Wonder what it means? If you're in Missouri, purple paint means you need to turn around and go back to where you came from. It's not just an opinion. It's the law.

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Different colors mean different things when it comes to markings in and around property. If you see purple paint on a tree in Missouri, that means you're on the verge of trouble. 

What's the big deal about purple paint?

The state of Missouri passed what is known as a purple paint law to save money on signs. It's a way for homeowners to mark the boundaries and it means "no trespassing". If you disregard the warning, you can be arrested and prosecuted if the owner decides to press charges.

The law also allows Missouri homeowners to leave the purple paint markings as far apart as 100 feet. That means you could accidentally wander onto someone's property and be breaking the law if you aren't paying attention to what's around you.

What happens if I cross a purple paint boundary?

The law says that it's a Class B misdemeanor as long as all you do is encroach onto someone else's property. If you do other bad things, well, that likely wouldn't end well for your if you're caught.

I would guess that many property owners would likely not press charges if you sincerely end up on their land by accident, but don't assume it. If someone took the time to paint their tree trunk purples, they likely are serious about not wanting others there.

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