Tagging: What do you do?


Yep, figure on getting the ole marker out and re-doing every 6 months!

But,. I’ve not gone to aluminum yet


For permanent tags I have been using copper sheet etched and a copper wire to attach. But its a pain to keep all those maintained and they can get knocked off etc. So I am now more relying on my spreadsheet to mark many things, and on the trees I am using UV resistant marker written on the bark itself. If you put the marking on the south side it should last around two years. It takes about five seconds to mark a tree, that’s the big advantage. Get a really fat marker so you can put a lot of ink down. I like the garden marker brand, the fat version.


I use tin snips to cut old aluminum license plates into 1" x 3" pieces. Each plate makes 24 tags. Then I drill a hole wherever I want and stamp the name and date onto it. Then I hang it with scrap Romex or electric fence wire. This spring has been really stormy with a lot of high winds and we even had a round of quarter size hail. All the tags are still there and best of all they’re free! My kids enjoy stamping the names. Tags are an easy way to get kids interested and involved in what’s happening with the trees.


I don’t bother with permanent tags on new grafts as they often fail (especially peach/nectarine). Many markets offer bulk food items like nuts and dried fruits where the customer bags and tags them. The tags are twist ties and work well for temporary use. Marked with a Sharpie they are still readable for at least a year. The main advantage is speed; just mark and twist on at time of graft.


I started making some of my tags a couple weeks ago out of the blanks I got from a friend and then came across some aluminum splice plates for cable trays.

I am going to cut the aluminum into tag size blanks and let the trophy shop engrave them for me for a few grafted apple trees…can’t beat that price.


I like aluminum tags for the longer term too.
But , the other day I made this little jig for writing on flagging tape. For some temporary tags that I could see better from a distance, I use the garden marker brand ,marker ,as it lasts longer than a sharpie.
I hold tension on the tape as I pull it across the board for writing

Also I don’t like tying the ribbon around trees , I have had issues with girdling, so I pull it apart with my fingers , until a little hole appears, and side the seedling through the hole .
Sometimes I make 2 holes so it stays on better.
These are just cheep temporary tags for in the nursery.!
If left hanging outside the pot ,I can easily read these from 10ft away.
Or they can be tucked down in the dirt , to protect from the sun, and keep them from blowing away.


Photo issues


For now I use the scratch-on aluminum tags. Some day I’d like to get pretty 3D plastic tags like these.


… so here I am replying to my own post to show a photo of how I done it. I put up the tag in 2007 (12 years ago) when I planted the whip. It’s permanent enough still to be legible, and, yes, my trees are still in suspended animation at tight cluster.