Anyone ever blaze trees to mark off a boundary?

Prepper

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Our land in Maine needs the border markers "refreshed", as recommended by my forester. This was previously done over 10 years ago by slashing each tree and putting red paint in the gash. He suggests making new gashes immediately above or below the old ones, then painting them (he thinks paint from a can works better than spray paint), using a hatchet that's 2 or 3 inches wide. This is kind of a big deal because it's going to be lots of very difficult bush whacking, and the length of all borders requiring this are 2.5 miles (the borders along logging roads do not require anything). I have walked all borders before, but it was 7 or 8 years ago and very difficult and spread over many separate trips. And, parts of it are under water (knee high muck boots were sufficient for getting through that section).

Any tips on something like this from someone who has done it? What hatchet would be good to buy? What I currently have is a big thing for splitting logs, so that's no good. I'll also need to figure out what "technique" is good for making slashes, having never done that before. I'll also have to figure out a "system", to somehow carry the paint without spilling it everywhere, a paint brush, my hatchet, and a pistol. All while bush whacking over very rough terrain and worrying about ticks. If the weather cooperates, I would try to do this in March to reduce vegetation and ticks, plus a frozen ground is easier to walk on. Although, that's not always possible to get there in March because there could very well be 3 feet of snow in the logging road preventing me from getting there. And once mud season (April-ish) hits, access is also impossible for a while because I can't drive up the road. And once the bugs come out, that's not too fun either.
 

Picton

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Can’t help much, but it sounds like a real fun project...

I swear by Gransfors Bruk hatchets, on a buy once-cry once philosophy. They’re the best in the world in a lot of peoples’ opinion. I think mine is their Small Forest Axe.


Good luck!
 
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Sparkey

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Sounds like a good project.
Where I hunt in the Adirondacks there are miles and miles of the red line which is marked by paint I always thought it would be a neat job set out into the wilderness and mark boundaries
 

EddieA

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I often see these marks while hunting in the North Maine Woods.
Straight lines through woods, brush, swamps. Some in places I'd never want to go.
I always assumed it was done in winter when things were frozen, maybe on snowshoes.
 

northny

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I’ve done this. I try to do it in early spring or late winter. Before leaves start out or bugs around I try to do a section each couple year so I can break it up into smaller job.

I carry a Hudson Bay trappers axe. Light head on 3/4 length handle. A hatched would do. I carry a supply of posted signs on wood backers if any need be replaced. I have an Alice pack frame with a load carrying bracket with a basket on it

I use spray paint. Best way I’ve found to do this is two man team. I’ll lead and blaze trees. He paints while I move on to find next tree.
 

Fritz the Cat

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I use a Machete when I blaze trails. It's lighter and works great for clearing understory. You kind of need a bit of finesse with it to get a good mark on the tree. It was made in England by a maker I don't recall, probably before I was born.
My hatchets are mostly unmarked, purchased from estate sales, honed and re-handled.
As for marking with paint, use a sponge in a zip lock bag and carry the extra paint in a rectangular can, like the kind 50-1 fuel comes in. It fits more neatly in the back pack and dispenses with a screw top rather than prying off a lid.
 

Prepper

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I use a Machete when I blaze trails. It's lighter and works great for clearing understory. You kind of need a bit of finesse with it to get a good mark on the tree. It was made in England by a maker I don't recall, probably before I was born.
My hatchets are mostly unmarked, purchased from estate sales, honed and re-handled.
As for marking with paint, use a sponge in a zip lock bag and carry the extra paint in a rectangular can, like the kind 50-1 fuel comes in. It fits more neatly in the back pack and dispenses with a screw top rather than prying off a lid.

Thanks, that's an interesting idea about the sponge.

I normally carry a machete when bush whacking around but I wasn't sure how effective it would be at marking a tree. I should probably give that a try at home here and see how well it works.
 

Prepper

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I’ve done this. I try to do it in early spring or late winter. Before leaves start out or bugs around I try to do a section each couple year so I can break it up into smaller job.

I carry a Hudson Bay trappers axe. Light head on 3/4 length handle. A hatched would do. I carry a supply of posted signs on wood backers if any need be replaced. I have an Alice pack frame with a load carrying bracket with a basket on it

I use spray paint. Best way I’ve found to do this is two man team. I’ll lead and blaze trees. He paints while I move on to find next tree.

Two persons certainly would help. My wife might be able to paint as I cut them, although she's much less enthusiastic about this than I am. (So I may have to go it alone.)
 

HuntMaine

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Lugging a chain saw around with all the other stuff and bush whacking might be a bit much. Hence the hatchet.
I found the hatchet work was tougher. I tossed my chainsaw in my backpack and walked the perimeter of 335 acres with no issues. Spray painted the gouges and they last for a long time
 

Choctaw

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I have no experience at this but it seems like an adze or draw knife could be used at a more appropriate angle than a hatchet or axe.

And you could make it fun with;

Oil Based Paint in .68 Caliber Paintballs!

Pellet Mark 4-6 year duration | Nelson Paint

PELLET MARK 4-6 year durability (on trees) oil based paintballs are designed to be fired from a .68 caliber paintball pellet gun to mark hard-to-reach targets from a distance. They are used to mark trees from across ravines, over difficult-to-traverse ground, across streams, or from horseback, vehicle or helicopter.

PELLET MARK has been adopted for use by foresters, cattlemen, ranchers, widlife biologists and animal control agencies. PELLET MARK oil based paintballs have been used on every continent, even Antarctica!
 
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I got a whole bunch of 3inch by 3inch pieces of orange plastic about 1/8 thick, Then i used stainless steel deck screws with washers and just screwed them to every tree i needed to. It worked great for a boundry marker and they dont fade or rust and are nrearly impossible to tear off the trees. Just an idea.
 

SpaceCritter

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I got a whole bunch of 3inch by 3inch pieces of orange plastic about 1/8 thick, Then i used stainless steel deck screws with washers and just screwed them to every tree i needed to. It worked great for a boundry marker and they dont fade or rust and are nrearly impossible to tear off the trees. Just an idea.
One of our trails here in town is blazed with:
20191213_072451.jpg
 

PatMcD

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Use a machete. Do it in the winter when snow is low, like right now. Orange flagging tape works just as well as paint.
 

Uzi2

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Use a machete. Do it in the winter when snow is low, like right now. Orange flagging tape works just as well as paint.

Flagging tape is a pretty temporary solution. It might last a season but degrades quickly in sunlight. Painted blazes will usually last for several years and is why its used extensively in the Maine woods and other places. Property owners don't want to be doing it time and again so they use what has proven itself for generations.

Lots of hunters flag their paths to a hunting spot in summer only to return a few months later, usually in the dark to find many of their tapes missing from blowing winds and sunlight degraded plastic.
 

Blackmore

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Working with two people you'll find it easier to stay on line to find the next old blaze. Though the 3x3 plastic square idea is neat, it's easier to find the remnants of an old blaze if the plastic markers were vandalized.
 

moojpg2

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Pick up a cordless chainsaw for whatever flavor cordless tool you have, carry a spare battery, put the paint in a gatorade bottle or something of the sort, use a sponge or sponge brushes kept in a zip lock. If you want to use a hatchet, pickup a Fiskars in a 16" or 24" handle size (don't get a short handled hatchet they are too small) and pick up a fellers belt setup that has a scabbard for the axe and u can easily keep ur paint supplies in the wedge pouch. The Gransfors Bruks are great but for something you're probably not using much, too expensive. The cordless chainsaw has a million uses around the house.
 

Cowgirlup

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I use a DeWalt battery operated chain saw. It has a 12in blade. Not too heavy to carry around and the battery lasts a while. I have an extra battery that I toss into a pack in case I'm doing a lot of cutting. Just making slash marks wouldn't use that much power. Your arms are going to get tired with a machete or an axe too.
 
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If you are going to screw/nail plastic markers to the tree you need to use some rubber washers or leave a 1/2 inch gap so the tree can grow.

Reading this thread also make me think that this blade on a battery powered angle grinder might make life a bit easier:

 

moojpg2

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If you are going to screw/nail plastic markers to the tree you need to use some rubber washers or leave a 1/2 inch gap so the tree can grow.

Reading this thread also make me think that this blade on a battery powered angle grinder might make life a bit easier:


Those chainsaw tooth grinder disks are deadly, I wouldn't recommend one to someone unless the persons name was Nancy Pelosi or Michael Bloomberg.
 
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