Anybody do tree art?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

There would be aesthetic and practical reasons to paint tree trunks. Rechon you would need to be very careful when selecting the paint.

WILMINGTON, N.C. - A print shop owner is on the spot with city officials who are unhappy with the polka dots she's painted on an oak tree outside her store.

Elle Puritz said she was just trying to protect the tree, as well as spread some good cheer, when she repainted the plain white trunk red, then added dots.

City officials say the splashy paint job violates sign ordinances.

The trunk of the roadside tree had been painted white years ago to make it more visible to cars. When Puritz bought the property in January, she decided to spruce it up.

She chose red paint close to the color of her building, and an arborist gave her sealant to put in the paint to stop it from oozing.

But, Puritz said, she realized the red wasn't very visible, so she added reflective polka dots. It wasn't meant to be a draw for her new business, she said.

Puritz was notified last week that the decor violates the city's sign rules, which basically define a sign as anything designed to draw attention to a business, zoning administrator John Fullerton said.

Puritz said she was given to the end of this week to get rid of the polka dots and until the 24th to paint the trunk white an acceptable color because of its utilitarian purpose, Fullerton said.

Puritz said she was also told to get rid of a sandwich board sign, although other nearby businesses have them.

"I'm just confused why they picked me," she said.

Zoning inspector Bill Cabaniss said, if other local businesses are getting away with using the signs, it's because there aren't enough code enforcement officers to catch everyone.

About 80 people have signed a petition to keep the tree dotted, Puritz said.

-- paul (primrose@centex.net), September 12, 2004

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