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Tree Tags

What Are Tree Tags?


Metal tree tags are used to mark plants and trees for many applications. Trees are marked for educational purposes, tracking, and for removal.

Nameplates are used by many types of organizations:

  • Parks
  • Tree Farms
  • Natural Resource Departments
  • Parks Departments
  • Zoos
  • Colleges
  • Arboretums
  • Vineyards
  • And More

Arboretums and similar organizations often mark their plants with detailed placards with information about the type of plant. This can include scientific names, expected lifespan, ideal climate, etc.

Metal tree markers are sometimes used to label specific trees which need to be removed. This helps crews easily distinguish which trees to cut and which to leave be. Proper identification in this scenario helps prevent errors or mistakes from occurring.

Other tree tag users rely on serialized numbers for traceability. Another design element sometimes included in educational-type placards is a QR code.

These codes can be scanned into a system for tracking, or simply link to a website. With just a quick scan with a smartphone camera, nature goers can be linked to content pertaining to that specific tree or plant.

Outdoor Durability

Tags used for marking trees are exposed to the elements 24/7. This includes sunlight, rain, wind, etc.

Tree ID solutions need the resilience to hold up in all of these conditions. You do not want to keep replacing your nameplates with new ones on a semi-annual basis. The best case scenario is the tags stay in place and remain legible for many years to come.

With metal identification tree tags, long term durability is a real option.


Selecting the right material for your tree ID tags is important. As mentioned, durability in outdoor environments is a key concern. Metal material options offer the durability necessary to withstand these conditions.

Brass Metal Tags in Cardboard Boxes

Some organizations prefer plastic tags for marking their trees. This is also common in gardens and similar application as these are more “non-permanent” marking applications.

While plastic materials may wear quickly and break, metal substrates are incredibly sturdy. Metal nameplates are used in some of the harshest industrial environments imaginable.

Commonly used materials for tree tags include:

  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Anodized Aluminum
  • Cold Rolled Steel
  • Brass

Metal also offers some great functionality as well. Anodized aluminum can be colored, allowing organizations to mark their trees with a color coded system, or match a brand or local color scheme.

Attachment Methods

The last step is to attach your tags to the tree itself. The trick is marking the trees while doing as little damage to them as possible.

There are various methods for identifying your plants without harming them. Nameplates can be directly bolted to most trees.

Large Lot of Embossed Metal Tags on Wires

Some organizations use nails with springs that rest behind the tag. This keeps the metal from coming into contact with the tree bark.

Another commonly used method is a metal wire which wraps around branches or the trunk of a tree.

If a particular plant or tree is overly delicate to harm, attaching tags to stakes in the ground nearby is an equally suitable option.

Marking Process Options


Stamping and embossing are both methods which use a die to press information into a metal material. They are preferred due to their exceptional durability.

Serialized Embossed Tags

Embossed tags can include serialized numbers for easy traceability. This can be used to identify trees which need trimmed or removed, or for inventory purposes.


For a more customized design, etching is a solid choice. This can be used to add custom text or other information to the nameplate, such as a logo.

After the design is etched, it can be filled in with a solid color to create a bolder design.

While etching is customizable, it is not the most durable solution. These nameplates will only see a few years of usage in an outdoor environment. In addition, any infilled color will wear very quickly. These are better for shorter term applications.

Photo Anodization

This process is excellent for outdoor applications due to its durability.

Unlike surface level printing, this process embeds a design beneath the layers of aluminum. This provides a hard to match level of durability for a design that looks printed.

Outdoor ID Tags

These tags are rated for 20+ years outdoors in all environments.

The photo anodization process is often used for descriptive arboretum style markers. The plate can include any type of design, information, images, or even QR codes to provide a link to a site with more info.

In addition, a color background can be added to the plates to provide a color coding solution.

Wrap Up

Tree marking is important to all types of nature and outdoor organizations. From labeling information for educational purposes, to number marking for tracking and maintenance purposes; there are solutions for every need.


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