As of 2015, apps that help identify tree leaves, include Leafsnap and the Virginia Tech Tree ID, also called vTree. These apps help identify leaves and trees using photo comparisons.
The Leafsnap app is a free mobile app available for the iPhone and iPad through the App Store. It offers electronic field guides that include high-resolution images of leaves, seeds, bark, flowers, fruits and petioles. Users take photos of the leaves they want to identify, and the app uses visual recognition software to help determine the tree species. The original Leafsnap focused on trees of the Northeast United States, but, as of 2015, the product website promises that the field guide will expand to include trees from across the entire country. The app was developed by researchers from the Smithsonian Institution, Columbia University and the University of Maryland.
Developed for Android smartphones, the Virginia Tech Tree Identification app, or vTree, is available for free on Google Play as of 2015. It was created by researchers in the school’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. The app's Google Play profile boasts images and detailed descriptions of 969 plants from North America. It also provides a range map and allows users to narrow down results by location using their phone’s GPS capabilities. Users can even get answers to tree questions from an expert at Virginia Tech.