Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers



Author Topic: Persistent Plant Marking  (Read 2163 times)

HIfarm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
    • Paukaa, HI, USA zone 12b
    • View Profile
Persistent Plant Marking
« on: December 10, 2015, 07:52:06 PM »
During earlier discussions about plant tags that will hold up over time, I had mentioned I was starting to use a Dymo Rhino M1011 metal tape embosser to make labels for plants.  I have been pretty much satisfied with the performance of this tool.  I have tried both aluminum & stainless steel tapes and both seem to work well.  The aluminum is softer and easier to emprint and I suspect it may cause less wear on the embosser wheel but I tend to prefer the stainless.  However, the other weak links then pop to the forefront.   

The stakes have been a weak link.  Bamboo only last a couple of months here.  Hardwood stakes seem better but are more expensive and are still far from permanent.  I thought about using rebar but that would get more expensive & would be a pain in the rump to cut -- and how would you fasten the tags to it?  That brings up the other weak link, the fastener.  I tried light gauge coated wire but it seems to fatigue with our frequent breeze & breaks.  Strings / twines (either natural or synthetic) don't seem to hold up too long either.

So I am going to be trying the possible solution pictured below.  I have fabricated stakes out of 1/2" PVC pipe with one end cut at a 45.  I drill small pilot holes and use a #4 sheet metal screw to afix the metal plant tag (this works with the hole the Rhino punches).  We have nice soil (in this area) so I expect that they will drive in fine with a mallet or light sledge.  I picked up a couple of 1/2' pipe caps to use to protect the ends while driving these in (we'll see how that works -- I suspect the caps may be more brittle and not work out for this).  This seems like it should be fairly economical (I get 6 stakes out of a pipe that costs $2.45).  I expect to try some out this weekend & will get back with an initial report.

John


treefrog

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
  • peace, love, and guavas!
    • jefferson county, fl (panhandle) 8b
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 09:00:58 PM »
the cheap way!

i use strips cut from the sidewalls of aluminum soda cans.  they are easily cut up with common scissors.   aluminum beer cans would work as well,and come in 16 oz size, providing a longer strip.  the aluminum is soft enough to emboss with a common ball-point pen if one presses firmly.  for attachment, i use insulators stainless steel tie wire.  this is the wire industrial grade insulators use to secure insulation on steam pipes.  you can find it at any good professional insulation supply house.  the only drawback is that it's fifty bucks for a ten pound coil.  i use it for all kinds of applications around the farm, and a coil lasts me about ten years.  strong, easily worked, and darned near eternal.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 09:09:50 PM by treefrog »
treefrog land and cattle company

FrankDrebinOfFruits

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
    • Kauai, HI 12A
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 01:24:53 AM »
During earlier discussions about plant tags that will hold up over time, I had mentioned I was starting to use a Dymo Rhino M1011 metal tape embosser to make labels for plants.  I have been pretty much satisfied with the performance of this tool.  I have tried both aluminum & stainless steel tapes and both seem to work well.  The aluminum is softer and easier to emprint and I suspect it may cause less wear on the embosser wheel but I tend to prefer the stainless.  However, the other weak links then pop to the forefront.   

The stakes have been a weak link.  Bamboo only last a couple of months here.  Hardwood stakes seem better but are more expensive and are still far from permanent.  I thought about using rebar but that would get more expensive & would be a pain in the rump to cut -- and how would you fasten the tags to it?  That brings up the other weak link, the fastener.  I tried light gauge coated wire but it seems to fatigue with our frequent breeze & breaks.  Strings / twines (either natural or synthetic) don't seem to hold up too long either.

So I am going to be trying the possible solution pictured below.  I have fabricated stakes out of 1/2" PVC pipe with one end cut at a 45.  I drill small pilot holes and use a #4 sheet metal screw to afix the metal plant tag (this works with the hole the Rhino punches).  We have nice soil (in this area) so I expect that they will drive in fine with a mallet or light sledge.  I picked up a couple of 1/2' pipe caps to use to protect the ends while driving these in (we'll see how that works -- I suspect the caps may be more brittle and not work out for this).  This seems like it should be fairly economical (I get 6 stakes out of a pipe that costs $2.45).  I expect to try some out this weekend & will get back with an initial report.

John



I have done this for a while. A hundred or so trees are marked. The pipes have lasted 3 years with full UV and are still like new. I like to leave them about 3-4 feet long. I use it to help find trees in the weeds/grass. When I stick them in, I put them next to the sprinkler emitter so that when I cut the grass I know how close I can get to the trunk and on which side.

Works great.

HIfarm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
    • Paukaa, HI, USA zone 12b
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 01:51:35 PM »
Thanks for confirming the the PVC holds up ok, "FD".  I know that PVC gets embrittled over time in the sun but, since it is not really doing anything, I thought it should last a good long time.  I am hoping that the short markers will work out ok as I am planning on putting some landscape fabric around the base to kill out weeds & grass nearby.  I eventually plan on throwing some hair sheep in there and to only have to cut a couple of times / year.

John

Jack, Nipomo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 427
  • San Luis Obispo County, CA zone 9b
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 02:50:24 PM »
We use much smaller spools of stainless steel wire on the anchors of our sailboat.  The bolt on  the shackle is wired so that it won't come loose.  Available in marine stores.

TropicalFruitHunters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
    • USA, Columbus, OH, xxxxx Zone 5b
    • View Profile
    • Tropical Fruit Hunters
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 04:55:39 PM »
I've gone so far as to cut and fold up the thick aluminum foil into markers.  An ink pen presses into it fine and it holds the shape.  A better option I've found is the following and I really like them:  http://www.gemplers.com/product/T800/Aluminum-Marking-Tags-Box-of-100

Samu

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 689
    • North Tustin, So. California, Zone 10A
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2015, 11:34:16 PM »
That's what I am using too. Got it from Amazon for $19.89 with free shipping.
If you write the name and date small enough, you can reused the same tag up to
4 times: 2 lines per side (eg.: plant name and date) on each side of the tag.
Got this idea originally from our fellow member Warren (wslau).  :)
Sam

cos

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
    • Maui Hawaii
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 10:35:58 AM »
good ideas thanks all

HIfarm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
    • Paukaa, HI, USA zone 12b
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2015, 08:32:23 PM »
If anyone tries to use my pvc pipe markers described above, do not use the pipe caps to drive them in.  In is unnecessary and the cap becomes pretty much permanently attached to the pipe after you pound it in.  Otherwise, pvc pipe seems to work fine for this.

John

cos

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
    • Maui Hawaii
    • View Profile
Re: Persistent Plant Marking
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2015, 05:45:45 PM »
I have found a digging bar to be a fast way to punch a hole big enough to slip a 1/2 or 3/4" pvc pipe in.
This is fast & I know at once if I chose a good spot in my rocky lava soil.
Also I have several clones inter mixed & am using different color paint on the pipe so can tell at a glance if is the clone I am harvesting

 

Copyright © Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers