iPhorest: Tend a tree via your iPhone

iPhorest lets you be an electronic gardener just by downloading software. For each virtual tree planted, The Conservation Fund will plant a native tree in real life.

iPhorest app
iPhactory

"One who plants a garden plants happiness." This proverb, of Chinese origin I believe, can now become a reality of sorts without the need for land or even a green thumb. A new app called iPhorest lets you be an electronic gardener.

After downloading the software for $4.99, you dig a virtual hole by creating a digging motion with your iPhone until your seedling appears. Then you plant it.

Not only might the gardening bring happiness to you, The Conservation Fund also benefits. For each virtual tree planted, the fund will plant a native tree in real life--starting with the restoration of vulnerable wildlife habitats along the Gulf Coast in the United States.

But even if your garden is virtual, you'll have to be a constant gardener to make your iPhorest tree grow. Shaking your phone produces rain to water your seedling, and when the virtual sun shines, your tree begins to grow.

You can plant additional trees in the forest view screen by clicking on the shovel, and send your tree to others. The creator, San Francisco-based iPhactory, has also included a world map showing everyone who has downloaded the application, so you can see where other fellow iPhoresters are doing their planting.

About the author

    Erik Palm, a business reporter for Swedish national television, is joining CNET News as a spring 2009 fellow with Stanford University's Innovation Journalism program. When he's not working, he enjoys kayaking and exploring California's hiking trails. E-mail Erik.

     

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