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Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting

Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting: How to label fruit trees

You planted the right tree in the right location — well done! Wondering how to label fruit trees? Regular garden labels and markers won’t last as long as your fruit tree will. It’s important to label your tree with key information while it is fresh in your mind. Using a weatherproof label will make the information last.

This final step in planting a tree is crucial if you want to remember ‘what’ and ‘when’ you planted the tree. Future generations and owners of your property will thank you for your foresight in labeling your tree.


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Why should I label my fruit trees? 

  • Organization. Know what is growing on your property.
  • Source of valuable information such as where tree was purchased and date planted.
  • Visitors can enjoy knowing what is growing in your yard. 
  • When you move or pass on property, new owner knows what is growing. 
 Wondering how to label fruit trees? Regular garden labels and markers won't last as long as your fruit tree will.

What should be included on the label for the fruit tree? 

  • Type and variety of tree.
  • When tree was planted.
  • Where tree was purchased.
  • Rootstock (if known).
  • Any other pertinent information you would like.

How should I label fruit trees?

There are several different methods for labeling fruit trees (3 options are discussed below). Each method requires upkeep. Decide which method or combination of methods will work for you. Look for the label to be weatherproof if you want it to last.

 Wondering how to label fruit trees? Regular garden labels and markers won't last as long as your fruit tree will.

How to label fruit trees (option #1): Hang an embossable plant marker on a branch in the tree

Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting: How to label fruit trees

Aluminum markers are easily embossed with a ball-point pen. I like this kind from AmazonUse wire to hang a large loop around a scaffolding branch. Do not attach to main branch, as it could girdle (suffocate) main tree if left unattended for years. 

  • Advantages: Easy to use. Stays put in tree. Writing lasts indefinitely.
  • Disadvantages: Could girdle branch; must loosen fastener and move to smaller branch as tree grows. 

How to label fruit trees (option #2): Put a plant marker in the ground

Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting: How to label fruit trees

Use a metal plant label and write on it with a Sharpie Paint Marker.

  • Advantages: Will not girdle plant branch. Writing lasts for several seasons.
  • Disadvantages: Can be lost or moved. Writing will fade; need to rewrite after 1-2 years.  
Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting: How to label fruit trees

How to label fruit trees (option #3): Make a diagram of yard with trees and fruit trees labeled 

Use Google Earth, an online garden planning tool, or graph paper to map the yard and existing trees. Draw in newly-added trees. Keep an updated copy with your home deed or other documents. Use a binder/folder to keep nursery tags, receipts, etc. for the trees.

  • Advantages: Easily see your yard at a glance. 
  • Disadvantages: Can get lost. Must keep maintained with new plantings.
Labeling Trees: The Last Step in Planting: How to label fruit trees

Once I’ve labeled my fruit trees, what should I do?

Whichever method(s) you choose, spend some time keeping it updated. This is a great project for the off-season in your garden. “The palest ink is stronger than memory” holds true here.

  • Take a few minutes to document your plantings each time you plant.  
  • Walk your yard each season to check on plant labels. Replace worn or broken tags, rewrite faded labels, and move tags to smaller branches.

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If this post about how to label fruit trees was helpful, please share it:


Karen T Price

Friday 26th of January 2024

Does common name come before scientific name? Should common name be bold with scientific name below in italics?

Angela Judd

Friday 26th of January 2024

Yes, the common name of a plant usually comes before its scientific name. It is standard to write the common name in plain text and the scientific name in italics, with the scientific name typically presented below or after the common name.