THE BLOG

Fall Foliage Apps For Leaf Peepers

08/26/2012 09:00 am ET | Updated Oct 26, 2012

Unless the weather gets even wackier, orange and red leaves should make their dramatic debut next month. From September to November, it's all about the fall foliage -- whether you're visiting the Midwest or New England.

And if you've got an iPhone, you've got a leg up on other leaf peepers. Check out these handy tree and plant identification apps, and get the most out of a scenic fall foliage drive, or stroll.

Also, you can go on and on about how old Maple trees have rougher bark than their younger counterparts, so passersby -- or your kids -- think you're a genius.

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TreeID
You don't have to be an arborist to identify just about every tree in North America. With this app, spot a tree and geek out as you learn: its name, its scientific name, its qualities (bark, fruit, leaves, etc), and its geographic location.
Cost: Free

LeafSnap
Concocted by researchers at Columbia University and the Smithsonian Institute, this app also helps you identify trees. However, all you have to do is snap a picture of a tree's leaf to get the info you need. In theory. Unlike TreeID, it only features tree species in the Northeast, and its visual recognition software is neat, but not flawless.
Cost: Free

TreeBook
This app is like LeafSnap and TreeID, but it's more basic and user-friendly.
Cost: Free

Botany Buddy
Okay, enough about trees already! Botany Buddy is your handy guide to everything else. And trees, too. Discover 2,000+ species (from shrubs to cacti), zoom-worthy photos, and a whole lot more. Share photo collections with friends, document findings from a hike, and get gardening tips.
Cost: $9.99

When it comes to mapping or planning your trip, a gazillion other travel apps are there for the downloading. But these apps give a little context to the star of the show: those gorgeous fall colors.

-- Laura for the HomeAway team