How to tag a dedicated tree?

Hi there!

I’ve been adding a bunch of notable sites around my college campus to OSM. Many of these are trees that we planted as a memorial. A plaque is usually installed beneath them, with information about the entity they are dedicated to. Here is an example of one of these trees, with a photo example.

It would be confusing, I think, to add separate nodes to OSM to represent the plaque and the tree. Would it be appropriate to tag a single node with as a tree (natural=tree, species=*, etc.), and as a memorial (historic=memorial, memorial=plaque, etc.)?

Thank you for your help as I learn to be a better contributor!


Combining the tree and plaque tags on the same node seems reasonable enough in this case. Technically they are two separate real world objects so two separate nodes would be equally appropriate. I don’t think it really matters too much unless combining the objects would lead to ambigious tagging. For example if a name tag is included, would that be the name of the plaque or the name of the tree? In a case where both plaque and tree have the same name this makes sense. However, if one is named and the other is not, or each hav separate names there would be no way to represent this on one node.


I think, using one node is OK.
The example picture shows, tree and plaque are not exactly at the same place, if you see it as micro-tagging. But the actual tools will mostly work and just show all tags.
What symbol will be rendered on a 2D map? A tree, A memorial, both on what distance?
A 3D renderer may show the plaque nailed at the tree.

I disagree with the previous answers. I actually question that memorial=plaque is the right tag at all. As I understand the real memorial is the tree. The plaque only serves to convey information about the memorial (and the honored person). I’d argue memorial=plaque is used if a plaque is the actual memorial and nothing else.

I would map the tree and tag it with
subject:wikidata= (wikidata object of the honored person)
Plus whatever can be added like species, Wikipedia, url, …

You could add plaque=yes to indicate there is also a plaque and you can even add the plaque’s text to inscription=xyz.


I think this approach makes the most sense, and best represents the situation. The tree is the memorial, and I feel it would be more confusing to link a separate plaque node with the tree.

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A more common approach would be to add denotation=memorial to the tree instead of additionally tagging it as historic=memorial.

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Most people with memorial trees of this sort will not have a wikidata entry. In my local campus they are mainly students, alumni or staff who died at an unusually early age. Usual practice would be to place the text of the inscription (as for benches etc.).

A distinct tag on the element representing the tree to show that the plaque is separate from the tree might be helpful (not plaque=* because this is already used for something else).

In general I agree that it’s best to map the tree alone & using denotation is probably preferably to historic (at least while all historic=memorial elements get rendered).