Tree I.D. tags


5 year old buck +
I tried searching but couldn't find anything about identification tags for our Apple trees on here. What are people using and have had good success with? I need to do this before I forget. I thought I found a good place to get some scion wood for this spring as the guy had 10-15 different types of trees in his front yard. When I started asking him what varieties they all were...his reply was "gosh, I had it all written down in a notebook but seemed to have lost it." Bummed about that and don't want that to happen to me!
All I use are tags made out of vinyl siding, write variety, rootstock and date planted (and whatever else you want) with a carpenter's pencil. Drill a hole in tag, use copper coated wire to attach to the cages. Make a big enough loop of the wire so when you remove the cage you can transfer the tags to a limb on the tree without the limb growing into the wire someday. I had tags like these on my old place that were over 10 years old and still looked like the day I put them on.
I borrowed this idea from you 2 years ago it works awesome. I have my 8 year old make the tags, she loves it.
I bought a small roll of aluminum flashing at Home Depot for about $6 and cut out a pile of tags with metal snips. I used an engraver or metal stamps to put variety, rootstock, date planted on them(year). Like Stu above ^^^ I use copper wire to tie them on. If the insulation on the wire breaks down with time, the wire won't corrode away. Cheap - easy.
I've used the Impresso-Tags that 2ndhand mentioned. They work great and I have some close to 30 years old that are still readable but I've had deer chew a lot of them upo_O if they can reach them, why I have no idea. I'm using vinyl siding now and experimenting with a grease pencil (china marker) to see how long it lasts. And have an engraver coming for Xmas to try some made from flashing. So there's lots a ways to make tags. The important thing is to do it as soon as you graft or plant the tree cause you know that the one tree you forget to tag will grow into your favorite and you won't know what it is:mad:.
I bought a complete set of metal stamps in a case for $9.49 . I think stamping the tags is the way to go for me. They impress the letters & numbers deeper & are very readable. I'll bet in 50 yrs. they'll still be readable.
St. Lawrence nurseries in NY sells stamped brass tags for a couple bucks. You can call them to get on their catalog list and order them there - I don't think you can order them online. I believe the owner of SLN he had some type of old relic dog tag stamper that he used. I purchase one of those tags for every fruit tree I plant. They'll essentially last forever. 100 years from now somebody will probably be hanging a treestand in one of the giant standard apple trees I planted and wonder where the stamped metal tag came from.
just snip an old soda can. Use a scribe and mark it. I am quite sure that there are soda cans, scissors, and a ball point pen in everyones house. If soda is not available, take one for the team and buy a case of Miller High Life.
just snip an old soda can. Use a scribe and mark it. I am quite sure that there are soda cans, scissors, and a ball point pen in everyones house. If soda is not available, take one for the team and buy a case of Miller High Life.

That is what I do. I fold the aluminum to be double around some wire on the cage and staple all of the edges together.
My father makes these stainless steel engraved tags for me. He just made about 100 for me this week for all the trees I grafted this year. I'll put a metal tag on them when I screen them up and prepare them for winter. They should last well beyond my lifetime.

Can't beat those, Ed! Great job DAD !!
Impression aluminum tags are the way to go as far as I am concerned. I have them on all my trees
I came up with these tags today, i work as a mechanical Insulator, and these are made from the aluminium banding that we use on aluminum pipe jacketing.
We have stainless too, but I'll see how these hold up.



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I use a GIS to manage my property. In addition of overlaying planted field information over imagery, I uses it for trees as well. So, all I need is a number. I simply buy the aluminum consecutively numbered tags from Ben Meadows. For large trees, I put an 11" cable tie through the hole and the larger end of the cable tie keep the tag from sliding off. I staple the other end of the cable tie to the tree. As the tree grows in diameter, it simply grows around the cable tie. For smaller trees I tag the cages or stake holding the tube. The tag number correlates to a database record that contains all the information I want to keep about the tree, including pictures.

I'm getting close to the end of my first purchase, Tag 1 through 200. I just ordered and received tags 201-300 for this year.


I was organizing some stuff in my garage today and ran into these (I don't even remember buying them). If someone only has a few trees to tag and are looking for an easy way to do it, I think this is a good option:

The tags aren't huge, but if you only have a half dozen trees and keep an eye on them they would do.