Q: How can I learn more about Heritage Trees?

The City of Portland has a Heritage Tree page on their website.

I also highly recommend the book Trees of Greater Portland by Phyllis C. Reynolds and Elizabeth F. Dimon. I think it's out of print, but Multnomah County Library has a few copies, and you can also find it at Powell's Books and other independent book stores.

Q: I went to see a tree, and I couldn't find it. How do I figure out which tree is the Heritage Tree?

That's happened to me, too. A few tips:

If you still aren't sure, just enjoy them all! (And email me about it. Maybe we can add a tip into the details for that tree to help future visitors.)

Q: How do I find all the elms? Where's the tallest one?

The data I used for the first release of the app lists a scientific name for each tree, but it doesn't group them into families or types.

There are some ways I could have sorted them them automatically, but I don't know trees well enough to verify the results. I want the app to be useful and accurate. If you do know trees, and you're interested in helping me categorize them, please let me know. I would like to add this into future versions of the app, as well as the web site.

I'd also like to add other kinds of searches, too, for example: sort by year designated, or list all pines within a neighborhood.

Since it really is a frequent question, I'll tell you where the tallest tree is:

It's a 242-foot tall Douglas Fir, in Northwest Portland, accessible via the lower Macleay trail, before the stone house.

Q: What about trees in other cities?

The list of trees included in version 1.0 of the app is limited to the City of Portland. In future versions, I'd love to see this expand to other cities in the Metro area that have special collections of trees.

I designed the app and the supporting API that handles image gathering so that they could be adapted for use in other cities and regions. If you are interested in bringing this project to your area, please contact me.

Q: What does the app cost?

It will be available for free.

Q: Is this app available for the iPad?

I plan to release an iPad version sometime in November, after Apple releases the iOS 4.2 upgrade.

Q: Who created this app?

Matt Blair designed and developed the app, based on data released by the City of Portland (as part of the Civic Apps Challenge) and made available via PDXAPI.

Q: How can I get involved?

For the moment:

  1. Awareness: Tell friends, neighbors and visitors about Portland's Heritage Trees and how to use the app to find the trees and share photos.
  2. Take Photos: If you are going to see these trees, take a few shots and send them in.
  3. Ideas: I'm eager to hear feedback about your experience with this app, and suggestions of what you'd like to see in it in the future.

Still have unanswered questions? Contact me.

(I'm still editing the FAQ. Please check out the blog or the Civic Apps Submission (PDF) for more information.)