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Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin Forests

Authored by Catherine L. Woodward, Ph.D.
UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education

Developed by David Gagnon
UW-Madison Division of Information Techology

© 2011 Wisconsin Environmental Education Board

About Download Versions
Printable Version Contact
Wisconsin Woody Plants for the iPhone


Get it at the App Store now!

The all new, fully revised and updated version of the Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin Forests for the iPhone provides a highly portable and easy-to-use tool for identifying Wisconsin trees, shrubs and vines. It is super-convenient for field biologists, since once installed, this "native" app does not require a cell-phone signal to function!

The key includes 85 species of trees and 57 species of shrubs and vines that are native to Wisconsin's woodlands or exotic and invasive. The key does not include forbs and shrubs of prairies, bogs and other open habitats, nor herbaceous plants. A few difficult-to-identify groups (Crataegus, Ribes and Salix) are only keyed to genus.

The tool is structured like a typical dichotomous key, allowing the user to select among two choices until arriving at the correct species. Each species is illustrated with detailed photos, ecological information and distribution maps. Other features include a built in glossary with definitions of the small number of technical terms that are used in the key, and browsable lists by common or scientific name.

This free app was made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. If you don't have an iPhone or iPod touch, download the old version for click-wheel iPods or get the printable version in standard dichotomous key format is available. Have fun!


Download Versions

Get the new App via the Apple iStore here: Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin App (Version 1.0.1)

Get the Old Version for Click-wheel iPods:
The old version of the key, containing tree species only, is still available for those with older 5th generation iPods. With this version , you can navigate through the dichotomous key using iPod's click-wheel to identify an unknown plant species, and verify your ID with color images. For 3rd or 4th generation iPods (which do not support integrated images) a text-only version is available. The key is not compatible with iPod Nano or Mini.

For 5th generation iPods (Key with images):
For 3rd and 4th generation iPods (text only):

Please read the User Guide before downloading and installing the old versions.

Printable Version

Fully revised in 2011 to include shrubs and woody vines! (PDF)


I welcome your feedback, comments and error reports on the Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin Forests. Please submit your review of this app on the iStore, or email me at this address:


Catherine L. Woodward, Ph.D.
Institute for Biology Education
445 Henry Mall, Room 118
Madison, WI 53706

© 2011 Catherine L. Woodward
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Please contact the authors for permission.