A new app that enables users to search for specific trees, or to get an idea of what trees are growing in the region has been launched in South Africa. TheTreeApp can be used on any smartphone or tablet under three years old. The app was created by project leader Val Thomas and a team of skilled professionals.
The app is available for download from 01 September from both the Apple iStore and the Google Play Store. Robbie (Ernest) Robinson, senior botanical advisor for TheTreeApp and Honorary Conservation Fellow, Zoological Society of London Scientific advisor, says it is almost impossible to overstate the importance of correctly identifying indigenous trees in natural environments, and this app provides a unique tool to achieve this. Because there is such a rich diversity of tree species in South Africa, multi-species forests provide habitats and niches for many kinds of animal, bird, plant, and micro-organism.
The correct identification of the trees is a prerequisite for understanding the functioning and therefore the conservation and management of those ecosystems. Thomas says that one of the reasons that trees have been difficult to identify, for ‘ordinary’ people without a botanical background, is that with most wild animals, individuals of any species will look similar.