Tree ties for tags

I have a old dog tag stamping machine and I have been making tags for all (1200) of my trees. Some of the trees are 2" and larger, but many are also 1/2" to 7/8". The larger trees I am considering using stainless nails, but any suggestions on the smaller trees? I have used embosotags in the past, but the thin wire either breaks easy and vanishes. Any advice is appreciated.


Electric fence wire should do the job and be fairly cheap.


Harbor Freight sell a stainless steel spool that will last forever and thin enough.

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@r8f1k Very cool on the old military dog tag embossing machine. I have kept my eyes out for one of these, but haven’t found a good price on one. This would be the ultimate tag maker for fruit trees, sure wish I had one. How much does it cost you per tag, I assume you are buying blanks in lots of 500 or more? You have any pics of your tags after embossing? I too would go with a thicker wire to attach to the tree, extra big wire ring to account for lots of growth.

I buy the blanks in lots of 500 from Amazon. I buy the rolled edge tags to prevent scoring of the trees. I have some photos, I will post. I paid $200 for the machine, they are out there. Search Graphotype on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.


Dwarf trees are generally supported. What about attaching the tags to the stake? I use 3/4" electrical conduit and attach the tag to the conduit with a small automotive heater hose clamp. It’s safer than trying to drill through the conduit, but then I’s a scaredy cat.

Interesting. I was thinking of going to a local surplus store and having some made for my trees. Plenty of space for the name, rootstock, date planted, and religious preference of the tree.


It sounds to me like this could be a mutually beneficial business opportunity for anyone who might be interested in this system but does not have a machine to do it.

Since I will not have a lot of trees to make tags for, I will probably go with the stainless steel wire route and the idea @SkillCult gave me on his video about using thin sheet aluminum and just etching the surface with something sharp (or possibly borrow the engraving tool from work). I have a bunch of excess thin angled aluminum that I think was spare roofing material the previous owner left me. I’ll just use tin snips to cut it to size.

I use aluminum plates from printing presses. They can be cut with scissors or a paper cutting shear, and pencil seems to be permanentn on them. Of course thy can be scratched too, but I stopped scratching them since the pencil works so well. But it’s not just aluminum, there is some kind of coating on them. You can usually get them for scrap prices and cut them to any size. I use copper or brass wire. Only caveat is to poke a small hole and twist the wire tight around the tag so it can’t flop on the wire in the wind and wear through the hole. I can’t imagine any gardener or fruit collector regretting getting a stack of them. They make good vole guards too.


I do have a box of used copper wire. That is a better price than a new spool so I’ll try that route. I do remember you saying you have to twist the wire tight against the tag to prevent it from rubbing in the wind and eventually falling off. If I run out of the aluminum I have I’ll definitely look for the printing press sheets.

I imagine they are already hard to find with the new digital printing industry. I’ve been meaning to call around to find some and stock up before they are all gone. I use them for all my greenhouse and veg flat tags too.

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A fun winter project is to cut up aluminum cans and use pen or pencil over cardboard to write info… then a simple hole punch and wire
I do not know how to add link to video but if you were to do a search I think it might be edible acres that shows you how in youtube video

Be aware that hooved rats (Whitetail deer) will chew pop can labels into an indecipherable mess if not devour them totally (ask me how I know), so be sure to hang out of browse reach, or bury a ‘backup’ at the base of each tree, at a designated compass point (NSEW).


I use recycled solid copper electric wire bent in a circle ,approximately 3 inch diameter allowing plenty of room to grow . Instead of twisting I just bend the ends back (interlocking of course with tag already on ) . Then you can apply a little pressure to the circle ,unhook ends and move to a new branch without pliers. Pretty handy while pruning

Do they think there is something in/on label, or just a-hole deer that eat anything? I have a bunch of cans I have cut to make tags - rinsed because soda residue is gross.

I think the tags swinging in the breeze just attracted them and they chewed them.

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OK. I am trying decent fencing -and- a deer deterrent spray. Maybe I’ll spray paint the tags as well, just to be safer.

So, I used my dog tag machine for all my labels. I bought 1-1/4" square drive stainless steel screws to stick to the trees. I had some of them initially tied with wire, but I knew that either those branches would end up getting pruned off or the would grow and girdle the limb. I went with putting the screws into the trunk, loose. The tags hang and have plenty of room to let the tree grow. I figured I can always relocate the tag on the tree if it started to crowd.