trees-1If you are new to using trees visit the companion article: TNG: How to set up trees for an explanation.  You need at least one tree in your TNG site to hang your ancestors on (if your ancestors are of the ‘hanging’ type).  You also will want to protect your tree from downloading by just any drive-by visitors, so see the related article at Trees and GEDCOM downloads.


Once you have one tree set up, you might want to add some more.  If users are added to the site, then they might be associated with a new family tree.  Or, a tree might have to be taken down at some point.  However, it isn’t just so simple as chopping away on the main trunk.  Trees are intimately tied into prime functions of TNG.

trees-3As pointed out in the earlier article, TNG requires at least one tree to be in place to receive individuals, families, sources or repositories.

You can have multiple trees, if you want.  Bear in mind that within TNG, you cannot link a person or family in one tree to another person or family in any other tree.  If you expect links in the future, then it would be better to use branches.

The image on the right is found in the Add New Tree area of the Administration panel.

For this article, we will talk about the top two text boxes.

trees-5Tree ID

This information will only appear on the address line of your browser, so best to keep it short, one word, to a maximum of 20 characters.  This information will not appear anywhere except in the address line of your browser, so it can be all lowercase.  Stick to letters and numbers, but no spaces or special characters.  Once saved, you cannot change it.

Can you have a blank name for a tree?  Yes, it can be done, but I would discourage it.  This plays bad when you set up new users and decide whether they should be restricted to one tree or have access to all trees.  The latter setting is done by leaving the user’s tree selection blank.  But if you have a tree ID already set to ‘blank’, then TNG will tie them to this unidentified tree.  Not good.

Tree Name

Use a short display name or phrase, such as Fergusson, or Fergusson Family.  This will appear in all tree selection boxes and will be the name by which visitors know this tree.

Tree Description

Use the Description box to write out a short paragraph that more fully describes your family tree to visitors.

Delete a Tree

So, now we have one to several trees in our TNG, all nicely identified and named.  Along the way, we have attached our registered users to the right family tree.  Some users might, especially you and other administrators, have open access to any tree.

But now you have one of your trees that is no longer required.  Can we just go back to Trees and delete?  You can, but be careful.  Any users that you have restricted to a tree that gets deleted, they end up in limbo.  More specifically, they can no longer log into your TNG, they get removed from the Users list and they get flipped out and into the Review tab on your Users screen.  They are treated as though they are now new-user account applicants, pending your approval.

It could be worse.  If you did set up a tree with a blank ID, and then decided later to delete it, you as Administrator will get removed.  Any user with access to all trees, that is, where Tree = [blank], will be moved to Review status when the ‘blank’ tree is deleted.  As soon as you log out, you will be unable to log back in.  Bad news.  Contact the TNG team if this does happen to you.

You should always have at least one tree in your TNG site, to which you are assigned and for any GEDCOM uploads.

Let’s delete a ‘named tree’, one that does have a Tree ID.

Start with the Trees >> Search tab.  Check that the tree that you want to remove is in the list.  Then click on the Trees Edit icon, the left-most icon on the same line as the tree to be removed.  This will bring up more details on that tree:


Note the information on the right: people, families, sources, repositories and notes.  They are all associated with this tree and will be deleted along with the tree.  So make sure you are okay with this, or else get them assigned to another tree.  Also, any registered users to your site who are assigned to this tree- they will be removed from any access to the site and will be placed into “Review” status.

But if you are satisfied that all is ready to go, then click on the Search tab.  That returns you to the list of trees.  Click on the Delete icon for the intended tree, the row will change colour and then vanish as the Tree is deleted.