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  • Labels and Tags

    Time for the annual labels and tags discussion!

    Perhaps some of you have some ideas for my current dilemma...I'll be doing a lot of non-fig grafting to make multigraft trees this spring. I'm looking for low cost and long lasting ways to tag branches. I've considered using metal tags (window blinds, soda cans, or purchased) but worry about the tags blowing in the wind and damaging the bark. I've seen plastic tags girdle branches in windy sites. Does anyone have suggestions?

    What about using can lids (my can opener doesn't leave sharp edges) and coated wire? It'll be hard to etch the name on those, but I don't expect they would be likely to damage the trunks. In the meantime I'll use plastic nursery labels (the loop kind) and porcelain marking pens. The porcelain pens shouldn't fade.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    I've used the galvanized washers and metal stamps for my trees with success. No long term testing yet though.

    Last edited by KK4DFU; 02-27-2015, 09:30 AM.

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    • #3
      Sweet idea!
      Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

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      • #4
        If a dog tag is at ground level, is it really a threat to girdle the bark? Seems unlikely. My dog tags have long chains, I think they will drop over the side of the container if necessary.
        Rafael
        Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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        • #5
          Rafael, my main concern is on multigraft trees where the tags will be hanging off various branches. Right now I can remember what branch is what, but if I succeed in grafting another 15 different varieties onto existing trees, it's going to get hard!

          I like those washers and that might work perfectly with a coated wire! I'll look into one of those metal stamp sets.
          https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
          SE PA
          Zone 6

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          • #6
            Kelby, on my multi graft trees I use dealer ship car key tags. I write the cultivar, date grafted and whom/where the Scionwood cam from. I do this so that if I lose the graft, I can get more Scionwood from the same source the following year.

            After filling out the tag I seal it and use string to hang it from the graft. I am working toward a better long term solution, but for right now the car key tags work great for me.

            http://www.monstermarketplace.com/ca...sa-tag-keytags
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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            • #7
              I just got this new toy: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FD7Z7I

              It came with aluminum tape, which is shown here. I also ordered some stainless steel tape which I expect to be more durable. It rounds the corners when it cuts. It will punch either a small hole that can be used with galvanized wire, or a large slot. The slot is designed so that if you leave more slack, the tape can be looped around into the slot to make the tag into a cable tie. I instead use it to attach a plastic zip tie.

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              • #8
                That is a nice device. Gonna live with cheaper aluminum hand-written labels due to price
                Ed
                SW PA zone 6a

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cyberfarmer View Post
                  I just got this new toy: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FD7Z7I

                  It came with aluminum tape, which is shown here. I also ordered some stainless steel tape which I expect to be more durable. It rounds the corners when it cuts. It will punch either a small hole that can be used with galvanized wire, or a large slot. The slot is designed so that if you leave more slack, the tape can be looped around into the slot to make the tag into a cable tie. I instead use it to attach a plastic zip tie.
                  That Machine is awesome!!!! Make me think that a Military Dog-Tag machine would be awesome for our purposes.
                  Last edited by COGardener; 02-27-2015, 12:49 PM.
                  Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

                  “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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                  • #10
                    use an engraver ($8 at harbor frieght) on the metal tags you cut with your can opener
                    Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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                    • #11
                      I mentioned this type of marker/ label on the other forum a few years ago. It got poor reception, but I really like making these limestone/ schist stone markers. They are relatively easy to make ( chemical etching with HCl then quickly dremel the outer edges after to refine). During the winter months I get antsy to do something fig related. The chuck e cheese coin is for reference of size ( guess where we went tonight for terrible pizza?). I enjoy making them and they are basically free. I'd be happy to make some for any of our members for free or postage ( but they are somewhat heavy, so local pick up would probably be best). The irony is that I bury some of my trees over the winter, so I feel like an undertaker in the spring since the " tombstone" marks the spot where I awaken " the dead".

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                      • Kelby
                        Kelby commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Bill, you'll have to walk me through this in the spring, I might try some.

                        You better keep the pup away from those, hahah!

                    • #12
                      Instead of hanging tags from limbs, you might consider marking with different paint colors / patterns then keeping an electronic and paper map of the codes.
                      Littleton, CO (zone 5b) - In Containers
                      N.E. of Austin, TX (zone 8b)- In Ground.

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                      • #13
                        Kelby,
                        How about doing something involving that green vinyl garden tape? It is very durable and also stretchy. I've seen writing on it last a long time outdoors. Alternately, it could be used to tie a more durable tag onto the tree. That would keep the destructive metal tag or tie away from the branch -- the only thing in direct contact would be the vinyl tape.
                        Jim
                        Last edited by Needaclone; 02-28-2015, 07:02 PM. Reason: corrected typo
                        Jim -- Central NJ, Zone 6b

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                        • #14
                          I use paracord for tying things to trees, holding up (or down) branches, etc. It seems to work very well and lasts years (at least 3) outdoors year round in Delaware.
                          Phil
                          Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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                          • #15
                            I made a bunch of tags out of old soda cans last year and used an industrial sharpie to write names on them. I still dont know how waterproof the sharpies are though.
                            Travis
                            Pittsburgh, pa

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                            • #16
                              Sharpies are very waterproof but it is the sun that makes them fade and disappear.
                              Plant sales are closed until further notice.

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                              • #17
                                I cut up some aluminum cans and used a ballpoint to indent the surface for some of mine. I also cut up some Greek yogurt containers and plan to use sharpies.
                                Brian
                                Carolina Zone 7b/8a Wanted: Col De Dame

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                                • #18
                                  I couldn't help myself and bought one of the label makers that Paul showed......I may send him the bill.
                                  Plant sales are closed until further notice.

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