May 30, 2024

MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Tree Guide MyNature Animal Tracks MyNature Fishing App

What’s a Good Tree App?

I’ve been asked so many times “What’s a good tree app” that I figured I may as well do a quick blog post on what a good tree app for a field guide should have for content.  So without further ado here’s my checklist.

  • The one most important thing any outdoor or nature app should have is the ability to be self contained, that is, not rely on a wireless signal.  I don’t have a solid figure on how much of North American wilderness has cell coverage but if I were a betting man I would say less than 20%. I’ve hiked all over the Adirondacks, Yellowstone, the North Woods of Maine and parts of the Pacific Coast and cell service was pretty non existent in all those places. If any app your installing for outdoor use relies on wireless service then that app is totally useless, delete it now and save yourself future frustration.
  • A good tree app should have a search feature that walks you through a series of questions or selections to narrow down the possible choices of what your trying to identify. Either the first or last selection in that search feature should be your physical location.  There’s no need in filtering through oak trees native to California if your in the state of Vermont.
  • A trees leaf or needle structure should be the main focus of any search, for example; Are the leaves opposite or alternate? Are the needles in groups of 2, 3 0r 5?  Are the leaves compound, how long are they, are they lobed etc. ?
  • In a really good tree app there should be a complete library of images of the following for each tree featured: leaf or needle, bark, profile, fruit or cone, fall leaf  and range map.

Those are the absolute basics a tree app should have to perform well. You may be thinking Image Recognition for trees, seen it, tested it and I’m here to tell you it’s a great idea if it worked but it just simply doesn’t. One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that an image recognition app is going to tell you the exact tree your trying to ID. It doesn’t. What it does is give you a list of possible matches and the user has to go through that list and find out which tree is a match.

So which app fits all the characteristics mentioned?  What’s a good tree app?  I’m a little biased on that but I can tell you it’s the MyNature Tree Guide.  It does all that’s mentioned above plus more!  Is it free? No, not free but it works and after all isn’t that what you want in an app.

Enjoy the Outdoors!

Maple Leaves

It’s that time of year, cold nights, frosty mornings and leaves crunching under your feet.  It’s the perfect time to spend in the woods viewing the brilliant colors of Mother Nature. There are three colorful trees here in the Northeast that dominate the landscape and if you know their distinguishing characteristics are easily identified.  One of the most popular maples in the Northeast is Sugar Maple.

Sugar Maple Fall Colors

Fall Colors, Sugar Maple

Sugar Maples show off their brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves in the Fall. These leaves are five lobed with a smooth margin, a margin is the outermost edge of the leaf. Most maple leaves are about as long as they are wide and the Sugar Maple measures approximately 3 to 5 inches across. By far the easiest way to identify this maple is by the five pointed lobes.

Fall Color Red Maple

Red Maple Leaf

Red Maple in the Fall also has it’s breath taking hues of red, orange and yellow. Unlike the five lobes of Sugar Maple, Red Maple typically has only three distinct lobes and the margin is toothed. Red Maple is comparative in size to Sugar Maple measuring approximately 3 to 6 inches long. In the summer months the leaf stalk and winged seeds (samaras) have a red tinged color to them.

Striped Maple Fall Leaf

Striped Maple

Striped Maple, also a commonly found tree in the Northeast  does not reach the height or width as other maples do. The biggest distinguishing characteristic of  Striped Maple is the sheer size of it’s leaf.  The leaves may measure as much as eight inches across and as wide.  Like Red Maple the Striped Maple has three lobed leaves with a toothed margin.  The overall appearance of the leaf is somewhat droopy as the leaf edges tend to roll downward and are not as stiff as other maple leaves.  The fall color of this maple is limited to yellow. Another easily identified characteristic is it’s bark, the bark of Striped Maple is smooth,  green in color with white vertical stripes.

Once you learn what to look for in a leaf, identification can be pretty simple.  Enjoy your Fall hike all the beautiful colors that surround you and make sure you take lots of pictures.    Happy Hiking !!

MyNature Tree App 1.1 Released

I’m finally happy to say that version 1.1 of the MyNature Tree app is ready for sale in the App Store. The MyNature Tree Guide is a identification tool for over 190 trees found across North America. Version 1.1 of our tree app addressed a crashing problem with use on the iPhone 4.  We’ll be running some special free app give aways over the next few days through Twitter and our Natureguides page on Facebook.   Happy Hiking !