Marked Property Lines Make for Good Neighbors

Brian R. Chandler  |  9/21/2010 10:59:01 PM

Do you know where your property lines and corners are? Do other family members know the property boundaries? Are the lines marked? When was the last time you walked the lines? Do you have a legal survey? Known and marked property lines separate your property from your neighbors, and help protect your interests and investments.

A clearly marked line is important when it comes to timber sales. It keeps your logger from straying onto a neighbor’s property, and it keeps a neighbor’s logger from straying on to yours. It also helps keep hunters from straying onto the wrong property. An established line is helpful in trespass cases too.

Make sure you and your neighbor agree on the property lines. It is a good idea to let them know that you are marking the unmarked lines. They may want to mark trees on their side of the line. The old fence or fire plow line you thought was the line may not be the property line. You may need professional assistance to establish your lines.

If your property lines are not marked now, you will need to hire a surveyor to determine the lines and corners. Having your property surveyed will not necessarily result in marked lines. You should ask the surveyor to temporarily flag the lines for you to mark later or even paint the line. There will probably be an additional cost for this work.

Property lines and corners should be marked with t-posts or paint on a tree. Plastic flagging does not last and should only be used temporarily. Low value trees can be blazed by removing the bark down to the wood. After the wood has dried, the blaze and surrounding bark can be painted.

Line trees should be painted on opposite sides where the line passes through the tree. If the tree is off the line, it should be painted on the side facing the line. Make sure you can see and easily follow the marked or painted line as you walk through your woods.

Over time, understory brush will grow up and the paint will fade. You will probably have to repaint the line or clear some brush every few years.

If you haven’t checked your property lines in the last several years, you need to go out this fall and walk the lines. And take a family member with you.

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