Types of Tree Identification Apps (For Android and iOS)

Types of Tree Identification Apps - Green Garden Tribe Articles

Gone are the days that we have to memorize every various species of trees. Nowadays, you only need to have a mobile phone and a working tree identifier application to know a tree of a certain kind. Thanks to the evolution of technology that made these possible.

There are many ways to classify a tree according to its kind and particularities. Most experts practice the common techniques by analyzing the leaves, leaf shape, bark texture and color, flowers, tree’s crown, and fruits. But it would take a lot of experience to get completely familiar with every aspect of a certain tree.

Luckily, there are already existing tree identification applications that will help people identify a tree. It applies to anyone, whether you’re an amateur in the field, a gardener, a biologist, a hiker, or simply someone who loves to wander around the forest as a leisure activity.

There are many available plant identification applications in both Android and iOS but not solely on tree identification. The problem is you have no idea what tree identification to install on your mobile phone. This article will help you decide if that problem bothers you because we will narrow it down to the five best tree identification applications.

Here is a list of the best tree identification application you can install on your mobile phone:

1. LeafSnap

First on the list is the LeafSnap. This particular tree identification application can identify both species of plants and trees. The application also comes with a premium version to save yourself from viewing annoying ads.

LeafSnap works by processing the photograph you have taken of a certain tree. After that, the application will show you what portion of the tree, like a leaf, flower, fruit, or bark appears in the photograph. The application will then analyze the photograph by matching it to similar photographs in their database.

Furthermore, the features of LeafSnap include advanced artificial intelligence that can recognize 90% of all known species of trees and plants you will encounter on Earth. Also, they allow their users to access their huge plant database that is constantly learning and adding new information regarding plant and tree species.

The downside of LeafSnap is the free version contains ads that can be annoying to some users. You have to view an ad after every new plant you want to identify. Better subscribe to the premium version to save you from this trouble.

App Reviews: 10,000 reviews with 4.6 stars
Storage: 22 megabytes
Users Interact: 3+
Downloads: More than 1,000,000 downloads.
Mobile OS: Android and iOS

2. PlantSnap

PlantSnap, as with any tree identification in this segment, is also capable of identifying plants and tree species. This application is the most high-tech, comprehensive, and accurate plant and tree identification available online. It comes with a free and premium version.

Moreover, PlantSnap works by analyzing a photograph and identifying the plant or tree in a matter of seconds. This is because PlantSnap can recognize 90% of all plant and tree species on Earth. They are capable of instantly identifying over 600,000 types of plants and trees combined.

Furthermore, the developer of PlantSnap is doing everything to create the biggest scientific database of plants and trees. They also intend to make the application fun and easy to use for better user interaction, especially for young generations. This is their way of encouraging people of all ages to grow a spirit and participate in protecting nature.

The downside of this application is it contains ads which can be pretty annoying to some users. To make up for it, the developers of PlantSnap include in their description that they will plant a tree for each person who downloads the app and becomes a registered user.

App Reviews: 91,000 reviews with 3.6 stars
Storage: 38 megabytes
Users Interact: 3+
Downloads: More than 10 Million downloads
Mobile OS: Android and iOS

3. PlantNet

As the name suggests, this application is quite remarkable in identifying common plants and also works well in identifying trees. PlantNet is very convenient and entirely free to use.

PlantNet works by collecting and analyzing photographs taken from your mobile phone. The analysis is handled by talented scientists around the world to better understand the evolution of plant and tree biodiversity.

Furthermore, PlantNet works well if you give them clear visual information. The accuracy depends on the quality of visual information you give the application to process. For better information, take a photo of the whole plant or tree but this is not sufficient to have a reliable identification.

The downside, however, of PlantNet is the relatively small database of plant identification. In the app’s description, PlantNet can only recognize 20,000 species of plant. The majority of this database is allocated for plants giving limited space for tree identification.

Nevertheless, the developer of PlantNet is comfortable that they will improve with the help of its users that makes the application richer day by day. Every photograph taken by its users will be added to the photo gallery to illustrate more species in the application. It is only a matter of time for PlantNet to cater to the 360,000 plants and tree species on Earth.

App Reviews: 155,000 reviews with 4.6 stars.
Storage: 16 megabytes
Users Interact: 3+
Downloads: More than 10 Million downloads
Mobile OS: Android and iOS

4. iNaturalist

As a disclaimer, this type of application is a bit more complicated to use compared to other applications. This app is designed in favor of biologists, naturalists, scientists, and other nature lovers to have an avenue where they can share their findings conveniently.

Furthermore, since iNaturalist is designed for experts, ordinary users can get connected to them if they install this app. There are more than 400,000 scientists, naturalists, and biologists on this app. That is some serious feature this app can provide to its users.

Using this app, the photograph you took from a certain tree species will be added to the research quality data for scientists working to better understand nature. In short, this app creates a two-way process of giving information from and to its users. This is indeed mind-blowing!

iNaturalist works by processing a photograph that you have taken- just like any other app would. But the process of identifying a plant or tree is different from other applications. There are many options to be familiar with but you can get used to it with frequent usage.

This is the downside of the iNaturalist which can scare new users at first. But people will understand that this process is deemed proper because every observation is added to the research quality data. Nevertheless, iNaturalist compensates its users by making it free and no annoying ads.

App Reviews: 5,000 reviews with 4.2 stars
Storage: 15 megabytes
Users Interact: 3+
Downloads: More than 1,000,000 downloads
Mobile OS: Android and iOS

5. Seek by iNaturalist

This application comes from the same developer of iNaturalist which was also included in this segment. The Seek by iNaturalist provides features that the original iNaturalist application is missing. But the iNaturalist remains to be superior to Seek.

Seek by iNaturalist works by processing a photograph and giving badges to its users to observe different types of species and participate in various challenges inside the application. You simply open the camera and start “seeking”. It’s that simple.

Unlike other applications in this segment, Seek by iNaturalist offers a wider database of living things because it includes insects, birds, amphibians, other than plants and trees. This feature draws inspiration from the original iNaturalist which has millions of wildlife observations.

Another important feature of Seek by iNaturalist is that they do not collect any user data by default, making this application a safe place for kids. However, some user data might be collected if you choose to sign in using an iNaturalist account, but you have to be 13 years old above or with your parents’ permission to do so.

Some people are quite privy when it comes to their data and the good thing is that Seek by iNaturalist respects this concern. They may ask to turn on your location services to give species suggestions from your general area but it is done in an obscured way so as not to reveal your true location. Your precise location can only be stored in their system if you sign in with your iNaturalist account and submit your observations.

The downside of this application is it does not work well with barks to identify a tree. There are tendencies that this application cannot give you a correct answer using bark textures to identify a tree. It might be troublesome to different users and it is better to use another application to prevent such trouble.

App Reviews: 3,000 reviews with 4.2 stars
Storage: 38 megabytes
Users Interact: 3+
Downloads: More than 1,000,000 downloads
Mobile OS: Android and iOS


There you have it! For now, that could be the best option to choose from given that there are only limited applications available online that include tree identification in their system. There might be new developments in the future but the currently available applications are already enough to help you identify trees.

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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