Best Apps for Tree Identification

Nature is beautiful. Everywhere you look, something new to see is growing, and the list of species grows with it. From the mighty redwood to the tiny daisy, and the majestic oak to the humble fern, there are so many different plants in this world.

As a tree lover, you like to know what species of trees you’re looking at. Whether you’re in the forest or on a trail, it can be fun to identify different trees. It’s easy now with your smartphone, but you need to know what apps are good for tree identification.

best apps for tree identification

5 Best Tree Identification Apps

5 Best Tree Identification Apps

Are you looking for the best tree identification apps for your phone? Here is a list of mobile apps that can help you quickly recognize various species of trees.

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There are various ways to classify trees. These usually vary from one tree type to another, depending on its particularities. Common techniques for identifying trees include analyzing the leaves’ shape, bark texture or color, the overall aspect of the tree’s crown, flowers, and fruits where it is possible.

If you are a gardener, biologist, survivalist, prepper, hiker, or someone passionate about nature, having a phone app that can help you quickly identify unknown plants is very handy.

Memorizing each species of trees’ characteristics is almost impossible as there are tens of thousands of different species of trees in the wild. Hence, the quickest and easiest way to identify a tree is by having a mobile app installed on your phone and use it whenever you need to classify an unknown shrub.

In one of my previous posts, I made a list of the best mobile apps for identifying plants. Many of those apps are great for finding out the name of various plants around your house, flowers, weeds, while some are focusing on recognizing the wild flora. Yet, not all are that great when it comes to distinguishing tree species. That’s why I also wanted to make a selection of the Android and iOS apps that are particularly useful for identifying trees.

If you already have one of those apps installed on your phone, don’t rush to uninstall it if your only requirement is to identify trees. All of the apps I’ve included in that list were able to identify a plant by taking a photo of a specific part of it, such as leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. Consequently, most of these apps will also correctly recognize tree varieties if they have enough particularities.

There may be more good apps out there, but I have only included the ones that are free or at least have a free version.

1PlantNet Plant IdentificationAndroid/iOS
2LeafSnap – Plant IdentificationAndroid/iOS
5Google LensAndroid/iOS

Free App to Identify Trees

Free mobile app to identify trees

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Colombia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution.  This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.

Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

This website shows the tree species included in Leafsnap, the collections of its users, and the team of research volunteers working to produce it.  Visit to download your free iPhone app!


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