Woody Landscape Plants? There’s an App for That.


Dear Timber employees:  Consider yourself warned.  Next time I see one of you in person, I'm going to plant a big, sloppy kiss right on your face for getting behind an iPhone app like this.  I know, I know–there are a few gardening apps out there already.  But where are the experts?  The horticultural rock stars?  I don't want just any old gardening app.  I want a gardening app like–well, like this one from none other than Michael Dirr!

Now all Timber needs is a name.  Read on.

Woodyapp Picture a garden. Picture a problem corner. Perhaps it’s dry, shady, and in zone 3. What that corner needs is a woody plant, preferably one with flowers. Now picture going through aaaall your books trying to find the right combination of traits. Daunting, right? 

Now, picture starting up our brand new iPhone app, called …. Well, we don’t have a name for it yet. That’s where you come in!

We at Timber Press are very pleased to announce the arrival this summer of our brand new iPhone app, based on The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, the bestselling classic by Michael Dirr. The app covers 1670 species and 7800 cultivars, and includes 7600 photographs. It is searchable by 72 criteria, including things like hardiness zones, water and light requirements, and growth characteristics. You can sort by common or scientific name, and there is also an A-Z browse feature. 

It’s a stellar application for gardeners and designers, and the only thing missing is a catchy name. We thought it would be fun to see what you think it should be named. What will you get out of this? Well, in addition to bragging rights, if we choose your name, you will get $100 in Timber Press books, and a free download of the app in question. 

To enter, leave a comment telling us what you think this app should be called. You can also contact us on Twitter.

(Note–Since the contest runs for a month, it would be great if you could make it easy on Timber and include a way to contact you in your comment.  Either link to your website/blog or include an email address, and you can do the foil-the-spammer thing of spelling it out, like this:  amy at amy stewart dot com. We at GardenRant can often track down your email address somehow, but any help you can give us on this one would be appreciated.)

Fine Print:

You may enter as many ideas as you wish, but there will only be one winner. By submitting a name, you waive all rights to it. We reserve the right to not use any of the submitted ideas, or to modify them as necessary. This contest runs through the end of July, and we will pick a winner and notify that person in early August. The contest is open to anyone, but if you live outside of the US or Canada, you will be required to pay shipping costs for the books.


  1. Dirr’s book has been the bible of plant books for decades. Dirr is a living legend.

    Wish the app would honor him, Dirr App. Alas, not descriptive enough for lay gardener’s to know what that means.

    And Dirr, presumptuous of me, would want this app to go far & wide.

    Great idea TIMBER !!

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  2. Hmm…how about something like the “Planting Planner”?
    I have a long day of jury duty today, so I’m sure I’ll have plennnty of time to mull over it then and think of something better!

  3. Also, you could call it Green Screen, since screening is why most people want woody plants in the landscape.

    Or, something like TreeFinder, TreeGuide, TreeTipster, since that’s why most people mine Michael’s book and mashing words together for software is oh so vogue.

    Whatever they pick they should slap Michael Dirr’s name in the front of it. If you are going to sell an app by virtue of the expertise of it’s author, that’s a huge selling point. Any shmuck can have an encyclopedic woody plant app, but only Michael Dirr’s TreeFinder, ahem, is worth your time.

  4. Finding twigs or twig finder
    screening solutions
    shrub finder
    search Dirr
    search shrubs
    shrub solutions

    I’m a big fan of Dirr, and definitely looking forward to that app! Thanks for mentioning it – I had no idea it was even in the works. Will have to spread the word.

  5. What to Plant: Woody Plants (imagine a series of apps for different kinds of plants), WtP: Woody Plants or WtP: Shrubs and Trees
    Which Woody Plant
    Woody Plant Finder
    Shrub Here
    Shrub Wanted
    Shrub That Spot
    Landscape Helper: Woody Plants
    Shrubs & Trees
    Smart Planter
    Shrub Genius

  6. Is it sad that this is the first thing that’s inspired any sort of “want” for a modern, app-able phone? Right now my usual criteria for a new phone is “one that makes and receives calls”.

  7. Thanks for the comments (and compliments) all! I’m enjoying keeping a running list, and I’m glad that there is excitement about the app.

    We’ve posted a little “tour de app” on our blog, if anyone is interested – http://bit.ly/bM3Wm7. Apologies to Garden Rant for not having been able to get the pictures to you sooner, and thanks so much for hosting our contest!

    Happy naming!
    Chani @ Timber Press

  8. My (totally stream-of-consciousness) ideas :


    Genus Genius

    Landscape Genius



    kiddogardener at gmail dot com

    Very exciting – I’ll be first in line to download it !

  9. Love GardeNerd. If it’s not chosen for the app, somebody please make up a game for that name. My suggestion: Plants Dirrect. cmashburn at mac.com

  10. People with iPhones are by-and-large geeks. Therefore, we need something steeped in geek culture for the geek gardener out there.

    I suggest you call it “Bring Me A Shrubbery!”

  11. Well, somebody got part of it right.

    Woody Plant Dirrectory

    Oh, she thought she was kidding. I’m not.
    It conveys the meaning, has lots of accidental discovery potential from searches, and honors the one who provided the info.

  12. “Shrub” or “Tree” is no good. Too limiting. Still, short=better. Go to the App store; any title that would require an ellipsis should be deep-sixed. Here’s some more ideas:

    Dirrectory of Woody Plants
    Dirr’s Woody Plants
    Dirr’s Arboretum

  13. What Wood Dirr Do?

    (part of an iPlant series including iPlant-Annuals, iPlant-Perennials, etc.)

    Good Wood

    Shrub it up!

  14. how about…

    thank god i won’t have to carry that ridiculously heavy book around anymore


  15. Hi folks, Pensmith Fallowman from the Corpestian Society, here.

    For all of you who participated in the recent reclamation action on Lake Erie (including that anonymous donor), thanks again. Super result I think all around.

    The Society has always appreciated Dirr’s contributions to the literature and except for a perished flora section in this publication, it’s near perfect.

    We’ve batted around a few ideas and think the following is the app name that hits the iphone dead on:


    Thanks again for all your support.



  16. How about:
    i want Dirr shrub
    I have never fancied an iphone – but this app might just do it!!
    kati squires @ ya hoo . com

  17. Tree-mendous
    Plant Plotter
    Treasy Answers
    Plant Plotter
    Trees Please
    Trees That Please
    White Birch
    Wood You?
    Good Wood
    Betula Basics
    Arbor Harbor
    Proper Planter
    Good Wood
    Hard Wood
    How To Hardwoods

  18. Just a gentle reminder, folks: Given the way that many people use the Web, we need to be a teensy bit careful about the words “wood” and “woody.”

  19. Plan-it Plant
    Plan-it Shrub

    Have a green & brown planet with a few leaves coming out of it for the icon, because Plan-it sounds just like “planet”.

  20. I vote for Liz’s suggestion. Simple and says exactly what it is. And, I agree with all those who say that It MUST include Dirr’s name.

  21. And, one more suggestion for Timber: make it an app available to all platforms!! Not all of us want an iPhone…especially when ATT is such a terrible service where we spend most of our time.

  22. It’s time for Brainstorming on this…

    Dirr’s Xyelmania!
    iPhloem for the iPhone
    Dirr’s Phloematic App
    Dirr’s Phone-a-Phloem
    Got Xylem?
    Dirr’s iBoretum
    Dirr’s App for Woody Plants
    Knock on Wood
    Dirr’s Botanica

  23. Shrub Solution
    Pocket Shrub (it’s not only about fitting into your pocket, it’s about that niche plant you’re seeking)
    Bring Me a Shrubbery


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