Sunday, 14 July 2013

Cleaning graffiti safely off trees - a simple 'how to' guide!

Hi Garden Friends,

Diversity - all for it. Destructive antisocial behaviour - all against it. Recently two trees on Fordwych Road have been tagged with spray paint. Not only is this antisocial and unsightly, lowering property prices and contributing to negative impressions of our neighbourhood, it's also damaging to our lovely trees and needs to be removed as quickly as possible. This is especially so in warm weather, so it doesn't seep into the bark and poison the trees.  

Garden Friends NW2 have safely and ecologically removed these two tags now, and we'd like to share with everyone how to do it, again with no harm done to the trees. It's simple, easy and only takes a few minutes.

Step 1: Notice what's going on in our neighbourhood. When you spot spray paint graffiti on a tree, don't just walk past it vacantly or with a mutter. Empower yourself to take responsibility to repair this breach in our social fabric.

Step 2: Have the right tools ready at home to do the job correctly. This consists of:

  • A container of clear water and a cloth
  • Latex gloves
  • Olive oil
  • Citrus oil based de-greaser spray (Halfords has it in their bike department on Kilburn High Road)
  • Gentle scrub brushes

Step 3: Apply some olive oil and citrus oil de-greaser to the graffiti area and let stand 5-10 minutes.

Step 4: Gently brush the area, using some water to agitate the cleaners a bit. The spray paint will start coming off.

Step 5: After a few scrubbings, rinse the area with the clear water.

Step 6: Result!

Step 7: Pick up all your kit and head home, head held high!

Step 8: Reward yourself for a job well done!

If you spot any spray paint graffiti on our neighbourhood trees, and you'd rather Garden Friends NW2 take care of it, just report it here or send us an email at and we'll be happy for one of our volunteers to swiftly  respond.

Spray paint graffiti on our trees? - we think not. Diversity - all for it. Destructive antisocial behaviour - all against it.


  1. To Whom it may Concern, i have noticed that somebody has put Bright Purple Powder on dog mess and all of the trees in Fordwich Road NW2, it has become a regular thing now and i would like to know what it is and why its been put there, is it HARMFUL TO CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. Michelle