Size: 3″ by 3″ square
Nail hole: 1 x 3/16″ diameter drilled about 1/2″ from a corner. This will allow the marker to hang naturally in a diamond orientation, making it highly visible and resistant to being bent by snow buildup.
Backing material: aluminum, approximately 1/16″ thick
Top lamination material: 3M Diamond Grade Orange. This material is retro-reflective like highway signs. Night time visibility is actually better than in the day time – up to 100m with a typical headlamp.
The current cost for FMCBC members is $1.00 per trail marker (note: price as of 2023 provided by FMCBC administration – please email for details) plus tax and shipping. To avoid shipping costs, trail markers are made available for pickup at our AGMs.
TrailSafe, a trail marker supplier based out of Victoria BC, provides high-quality aluminum markers with 3M diamond grade reflective orange sheeting.
They offer a 10% discount for non-profit organizations and is committed to donating a portion of all sales to volunteer trail projects across Canada.
(Note: trail marker supplier as of 2023 is Transign).
Use stainless steel deck screws so they can be backed off as the tree grows and expands. Some of the older markers can and do get sucked in and swallowed by trees after 20 or so years, and even steel ones get folder over.
The screws should be at a slight downward angle to allow the marker to slide back against the tree, instead of drooping off the nailhead untidily and having ice build up behind it. Leave about ¼” to ½” out of the tree to compensate for the inevitable tree growth.
And in case you’re wondering why the hole is in the corner, it’s because the markers need to be left “loose” on the tree, not pounded right up against the bark. If the hole is in the centre (which we used to do), the weight and leverage of the snow/ice buildup over the winter will gradually fold the marker over, or even pop it off the nail. Having the hole in the corner, far enough from the edge so the marker doesn’t break, allows the marker to hang on the tree without snow and ice getting behind it. And it also ensures the marker is always hanging vertically. Neatness counts!
(Thanks to Alex Wallace for the tips.)