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Let's talk labels! Labeling Trees

We are looking for a way to label about 250-300 trees and shrubs in our food forest.
50-100 Trees are already established
Another 150 are seedlings
We need:
*Easily available materials in a rural location
*Lasts long (doesn’t fade in the sun like ink)
*Cheap to make
*Easy to reproduce
*Can be attached to a tree or stake depending on size/need

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This is the classic durable label:

You might be able to make something similar with heavy duty aluminum foil wrapped around a piece of flat cardboard.

I don’t know if you guys have aluminum pop cans available? Those work well if you take a scissors and cut off the top and bottom you can make aprox 5 labels with it depending on size needed. Then just lay the flat aluminum onto a piece of cardboard to write on it.

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I agree with tin cans. I’ve been labelling fruit trees for 10 yrs and even the best permanent/waterproof pens wear out, and it’s a pain to re-write. Now I collect tin cans, cut into strips & scribe names with a biro/pointed tool (biros that are empty/stopped working are perfect!). Use a standard hole punch to make a hole at one end for tying string/raffia or whatever. I actually get 10-15 labels per can (but yes depends how much you need to write).


Hiya Karissa,
I’ve been told by a friend with years of experience to get x-ray film and white-out / liquid ink to use for tags. He says this will last for years and that the white-out won’t fade in the sun or wash off in the rain. I haven’t yet tried it, so can’t say for sure.

You could try hospitals, clinics, dental clinics, and if there are any other local businesses that use x-ray film … great :slight_smile:

I went to a local hospital (in Thailand) and got a handful of 10-year old x-rays just for asking. Now, it’s sort of unfortunate that the hospital staff didn’t even cut off the names of the people in the x-rays.

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