Tree Identification

Scots Pine


Tree Identification is a skill we can all learn, given enough time and effort. Similar trees usually differ in only a few minor features and these differences have to be learned. Unless we have access to expert tuition it takes too long to learn these differences. But in the last three years there have been two major advances in portable technology: the development of touchscreen tablets, like the iPad, and the availability of smartphones and tablets with built-in GPS capability. On this website we explain how these advances can be used to speed up this self-learning process.   


Botanical keys, which use a word-based yes/no system of questions and answers, have been used for many years to identify trees. They have always been difficult for non-botanists to use because they assume a knowledge of complex botanical terms. The Tree Guide UK app uses easy-to-follow botanical keys of pictorial yes/no questions. As you use the guide you will learn how to identify different trees. A glossary of botanical terms also explains, in fully illustrated form, any of the technical terms you may encounter. The app is designed to run on fast, high-definition, touchscreen tablets and comes packed with over 2,400 high resolution photos. These are included in the app when you download it, meaning no network connection is required, so you can use the guide at home or outdoors. 


Many smartphones and some tablets now have the ability to record gps locations accurately. If you don’t have access to botanical gardens and can’t go out with a local expert, you can learn more quickly by sharing the locations of trees that you have identified.  You can do this by creating and sharing Google tree maps. On this site we show you examples of two tree maps and explain how to download the maps to smartphones and tablets so that you can navigate to the trees again