Up in northern Michigan, the farm my dad grew up on sports some ancient apple orchards. The trees still produce, and the varieties are heirloom, if there ever were some. There’s not just the Jonathans, Macintosh and Golden Delicious, but Wealthy, Wagener, King and Alexander. Even now I can’t remember all the names, which is why this fall we made the rounds with my dad and we tagged the trees.
And it occurred to me, the project was so satisfying (and educational), why shouldn’t everyone do this with their own trees?
Of course most people don’t have an apple orchard in the family. But there really isn’t any reason you can’t identify and mark the trees you do have. Here’s what I did:
I bought aluminum tree tags online for the rich price of 100 for about ten bucks.
You can write on these with a Sharpie if you like, but, not wanting to make things too easy on myself, I opted to purchase a set of “punches”. You can purchase the whole alphabet for about a dollar and a half per letter. My letters were about 1/4″ tall. There are lots of sets available. Just put “Letter Punch Set” in the search.
I bought aluminum wire and it came with a wire clipper in the package, which came in very handy.
And we cut long pieces, making sure to allow lots of room around the branches. We hung our tags much like a loose bangle bracelet, so as not to disturb the tree’s growth.
I learned a lot about our apple trees, but probably just as important, now our lovely trees sport shiny bangles that don’t just identify the fruit. Seeing the tags jiggle in the wind makes me smile as they betray the love with which these trees are cared for. It may not change the world, but it’s a very BellaPamella thing to do!
By the way, Happy Birthday, Dad. And thank you for sharing your knowledge, and your trees!