The Forestry Commission have launched a new app to help to identify tree and shrub seedlings. The Forest Seedlings app, available from Google Play and iTunes, aims to aid in the often-problematic identification of young trees and shrubs, through a filter of key characteristics.
The app currently catalogues nearly 100 varieties of seedling commonly found in British woods and forests, allowing the user to search with characteristics like leaf shape, stem hairs, etc. It is intended to replace traditional paper field guides, with ease of use and access.
Upon launching the App, Forest Research’s Matt Parratt said:
“Most professionals and experienced amateurs can readily identify trees and shrubs after the plants are just a year or two old. But young seedlings often look significantly different to older plants and this can get in the way of accurately recording what is growing where.
“The app allows people to quickly and accurately identify self-set trees and shrubs regardless of their age. They can also record field notes and locations using GPS without a mobile signal. This is always going to be more efficient and helpful than revisiting a site.
“We tested the app on experienced colleagues using seedling pictures of rowan and common lime – both trees which are readily identifiable when older. A number of them were unable to correctly identify either one, and were surprised once the app revealed what they were.”
The field guide app has been developed by the Forestry Commission from content supplied by Forest Research.