Sorry, Tumble tree has been removed from service.

Unfortunately note-gathering bookmarklets like this one are against Tumblr's terms of service, so I will no longer be able to offer this app. Building this has been a great learning exercise and one day I do hope to see similar functionality built into Tumblr natively.


  • Displays reblogs visually as an animated tree
  • Bouncy branches you can drag and stretch
  • Filterable notes list to show comments, likes, reblogs, featured tags or user names
  • Colours indicate the age of each reblog
  • For Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer 9+.
See an example of how it worked

Bugs? Ideas? Feedback?

Head over to the development page. If things break in some situations, I might not know about it unless you tell me, so speak up!

Recent posts

möbius 6hedrons

Does this colour scheme look a little familiar? I make geometric GIFs now on 12gon, check it out if you’re keen.

Reblogged from 12gon

Hi former Tumble tree users. A few people have asked about what else I do - Tumble tree was one of a whole bunch of projects I work on for my own enjoyment. Here’s a new one that’s a bit of fun - this website lets you transform images into mosaics of all different shapes. Check it out on my site here:

Well, Tumble tree is no longer in service.

Shame this thing died before it really got off the ground, but I’m not allowed to continue to offer Tumble tree as an app. Against terms of service, unable to be granted an exception, concerns about server load and the method in which it grabs the data, which is fair enough really.

Still, it’s been fun, I’ve become much more adept at pushing jQuery around in weird ways to do my evil bidding, and at manipulating the algorithms and parameters behind complex systems (the physics-based tree) to get just the right emergent properties (a nice shaped tree). Blah blah blah.

Feel free to follow me on my normal Tumblr for intermittent updates on the building of a skateboarding game and weird animated GIFs, or my music project Tumblr if you like electronic not-dance music (new album coming in the next couple of months!), or even my normal site at

Thanks for being a good audience!

Tags: tumble tree

Anonymous said: Maybe speak to the guy who runs missing e for ideas?

Perhaps, but they got around the issue by removing the parts of Missing-e that did page-scraping - not an option for me as this whole thing relies on it.

Damn. Well unless anyone has any idea about who to contact at Tumblr, this Tumble Tree is looking a bit dead. Tried emailing Tumblr support, followed up when they didn’t reply. Still no reply. Sent another fresh one, no reply. Any ideas who I can contact?

Tags: tumble tree

Better explain why the tree is no longer operational

Anyone active in using this tool will have noticed that it has not been working for the past week and a half, and as I’m off interstate for a fortnight soon I’d better explain why.

Tumble tree gets its information by a technique called ‘page scraping’, which gathers information by reading the HTML of a page, requesting their servers for more notes, reading the HTML again. It’s not considered to be a good thing to do, but as the Tumblr API doesn’t offer a method to get all notes for a post it was my only option. Which if you are a single person, Tumblr probably don’t mind so much, your impact would be negligable. But involving more users makes the situation far worse.

I knew it wasn’t a great way of doing things, but then found out that their Terms of Service explicitly forbid scraping, which is grounds for closing off Tumblr accounts and potential legal action:

And as this tool gives a growing number of people the ability to make literally hundreds more requests for notes than they might otherwise (not that most people would), I find myself in the position of facilitating a great deal of strain on Tumblr’s already stretched servers. So until I hear back from Tumblr / discuss reasonable limits / get permission to run this tool, it’ll have to remain offline. Some time ago Missing-e users might remember the warnings that Tumblr put up regarding that extension - and page scraping was one of the reasons listed that Tumblr didn’t like Mising-e. This tool gives people the ability to chew up a lot more of Tumblr’s resources, but I’d be willing to enforce limits on Tumble Tree to get this within reasonable amounts if it means that it can be used at all.

I don’t mean to demonise Tumblr here - if I owned a blogging service of this size and traffic, I would disallow page scraping and excessive API usage as much as needed to provide a stable site too. However, I do hope that they consider things like this on a case-by-case basis, and perhaps work towards having this kind of functionality built in natively or allowed by 3rd party tools, as the response from launching this alone has proved just how much the Tumblr public would like a visual reblog mapper and notes filtering like this. If the difficulty for Tumblr is server load (which is likely), then this would obviously push any server-intensive features down Tumblr’s list of developement priorities considerably.

I hope this tree’ll pop back online soon, even if it has to have a severely reduced note limit - so stay tuned and I’ll let people know how this pans out. Thanks for your interest and support.

Tags: tumble tree

Tumble tree has been down for a while

Because I completely ran out of time to sort out what I was doing before departing on a ski holiday. I’m back now, but cannot put it live again just yet - I’ll post back here once I get it running again.

Ilikemlp submitted a good idea for Firefox users

Should work well before I get around to making a greasemonkey script or an extension.

If someone using Firefox wants to use this without the bookmarks toolbar, they can use an add-on called Custom Buttons, which allows one to create a Tumble Tree toolbar button with this code:


Version 0.3 update

Hey all, small update. Raised the notes limit from 5000 to 20000, and made the tree hidden by default if you have 1000+ reblogs, at which point you can choose to display it (at your own risk!). I’ve heard a few people really just use this thing for the comments filtering, and I don’t want a slow performance unwieldy tree clogging up the browser.

I’ll be in and out of holidays the next few weeks, when I get back I’m going to focus on fixing existing bugs, maybe browser extensions and… custom colours?

As always, updates are automatic, you don’t have to do anything.

Tags: tumble tree

aaleen-arai said: When a new version comes out, it updates automatically I'm guessing? Also thank-you for this wonderful tool. It's both fun and helpful!

Yeah it does update itself - should have mentioned that!