How Low Can They Go?

Back in Oct. ’07 I thought there was a special place in hell for those who tag trees. And now I realize this is the same exact tree from 11th St, NW in Columbia Heights so at some point somebody was able to remove the graffiti. How do remove graffiti from a tree without killing the tree? Also why do you think this particular tree keeps getting tagged. If they ever catch the person/persons who do this, there should be a minimum 6 months in jail no parole. Is that too harsh? Not harsh enough?

26 Comment

  • That street is the boundary between two hoods. 1-4 zone get it how you can babay.

    • Less than a year ago my car and trash container were tagged with 1-4. The police came by and told me they were not familiar with this tag and no gang activity was in my Petworth neighborhood. They didn’t seem very concerned. Any info on 1-4 gang?

  • oh and someone got caught loafin there some years back.

  • The amazing thing is that a tree such as this (similar to a plane tree) is remarkably resilient and perfect for surviving such urban onslaught. The bark is incredibly permeable. Meaning it sheds frequently. During the height of the Industrial Revolution when London’s air was caked with soot, trees such as this removed much of the pollution. The soot would collect on the bark, and the bark would flake off. Today, the plane trees of London are responsible for moving tons of pollution from London’s air. The story is told in A Natural History of the British Isles with Alan Titchmarsh. The tree will endure. As for the tagger, my heart would endure if a branch happened to snap off far above and come crashing down the next time he was expressing himself on the trunk.

  • As long as you strip bark vertically, you can take a pretty sizeable amount off without harming it.

  • Looks like a Sycamore or London planetree (can’t tell)–both shed. Maybe some trivial leeching (like when we paint ourselves), but the paint proper it will eventually flake off when the bark sheds, no action required.

    Please don’t tear off the bark anymore than you’d tear at your own skin. It’ll fall when it’s ready.

    In the meantime the tree looks like ish.

    i’m a fan of the unceremonious pipe to the head.

  • That’s not a tag, it’s ART!!!

    • Exactly! You can’t have it both ways. 6 months for this, but 35 comments worth of kudos for someone who uses more color?

  • Way too harsh PoP

  • Not harsh enough. i would add community service to the sentence.

  • Six months for graffiti? You’re insane.

    That’s a sycamore. I have the same in front of my house.

  • I live right near here. This tree is in front of a house full of thugs that hang out on the porch drinking during the day time. I’m sure it wasn’t them or anything.

  • tagging a tree is definitely tacky, but it doesn’t hurt the tree. I’ll leave the place in hell for the folks who go to the arboretum and carve things into the trees there.

    anyway, all bark wears away over time, so the paint will fade. but as others have mentioned, that kind of tree has peelable bark, so you could remove the outer layer and the tag easily enough

  • dude, it’s art.

  • Six months for defacing a tree? There are people who strong arm rob people and do less than that. Less eco terrorism, more common sense!

  • Six Months for spray painting a tree! CLASSIC! HAHAHAHA – But really GTFOH.

  • A good idea if you’re trying to get them involved in other types of crime. Lots of community service hours, such as having to scrub off graffiti seems to make sense, but six months in prison is pretty insane.

    I did worse as a kid, and I’m pretty sure you likely did, too.

    • +1 and i like Frankie James’ idea of having the guys work with trees. might actually help show folks the coolness and dignity of everyday work.

  • Ignorant entitled fools…

    Community service might be more appropriate. Perhaps working in the park or with a DC tree crew.

  • The idoits who lock their bikes to trees do more harm to the tree than the paint will ever do. Paint may be unsightly, and tagging a tree disrespectful, but chains and locks wounding the bark is more likely to let pathogens in.

  • Sorry, but I can’t seem to muster outrage about this. It’s mildly unsightly, but when you think about it, spraying a wall or garage is usually far worse because the contrast causes the paint to stand out. Hell, even utility workers spray-paint trees, and usually with that awful hi-viz pink or orange.

    …And if I were thrown in jail for 6 months for the crime of painting a tree, I’d resolve then and there to a life of crime.

    • Why is it small crimes are ok with the people in our neighborhood?

      Oh and as for the utility workers, aren’t they marking trees that will ultimately come down?

      Community Service is appropriate.

  • The perfect crime for graffiti “artists”: Cleaning up other people’s tags, with the knowledge that other taggers will be cleaning up YOURS.

  • I meant the perfect punishment. Duh!

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