We'll be honest - we're ashamed at how little we know about trees. Humans literally rely on trees to survive, and yet so few of us know anything about them, even though we probably see hundreds of them every week.
Luckily, learning about trees is both fun and rewarding. There are lots of books you can read about trees to learn how to identify them, but we've found that tree identification apps are even better. We thought we'd round up the best tree identification apps you can download in the UK, let's get into it:
Just as we found in our guide to the best plant identification apps, it was the Picture This app which was the best app for identifying trees. It works so flawlessly - you simply open the app and take a photo of the tree you want to identify. Within seconds, the app will provide a result which it believes to be an accurate match. We visited a botanic garden with some really interesting species of trees, including this Sweet Chestnut tree, and as you can see from the photo, the app identified it with no issues. You don't just get the name of the tree either, as the app also provides information such as what country it's native to, and how to care for it. It's such an impressive app, learn more and download it from the Apple App Store here and the Google Play Store here.
The Woodland Trust Tree ID app
We're impressed with The Woodland Trust app, but we'll state straight away that it works a little differently from the other tree identification apps we've included in this guide. There is no option to take photos of trees to identify them - instead, you simply match pictures within the app to find out what tree you're looking at. So for example, if you find a leaf on the ground and you want to know which tree the leaf came from, you can open the app and find that leaf shape within the app. The app will then tell you which tree it came from. You can also do this with other parts of the tree, such as the fruits. It's definitely not as quick to identify trees using this app compared to apps like Picture This, but it's really accurate. It works for the UK's native and non-native trees, and the database is huge. Plus, it's totally free. We also think this app is great for kids, as it requires you to do a bit of detective work, which is both fun and educational. Learn more and download it for iPhone or Android here - woodlandtrust.org.uk
We had some real trouble with the Plant Snap app when we were using it to identify plants, but we found that it worked much better for trees. We only need one photo, and pretty much immediately the app was able to identify what tree we had taken a photo of. The photo wasn't even particularly good, and only included the leaves without any bark, so we were impressed that the app matched the image to the correct tree. This app has a good free version, but the premium version allows you to identify more trees per day. Learn more and download it from the App Store here and Google Play Store here.
What really impressed us with the Blossom app is that we only had to take a photo of the bark to get a perfect identification - as you can see from the image, the app was able to identify this European Mountain Ash tree from a close-up of the bark, despite the red fruit being the most distinctive part of the tree. The app is really easy to use, and every time you take a photo the app will give you a few different options which it believes to be correct, with the 'Best Match' highlighted. Download it from the Google Play Store here and the App Store here.
Hopefully, this guide helps you to find a great tree identification app. Let us know if you've tried any of these or if you have any other suggestions for us to download and try! If you want to read something very similar, check out our guide to the best mushroom identification apps you can download.