From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Available languages
Deutsch English español français 日本語 polski português do Brasil русский suomi
Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = tree
A single tree, often significant.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodes
should not be used on ways
should not be used on areas
should not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: Approved

A single tree, often lone or significant. Tree2.png

How to map

Place a node (Node) at the location of the tree's trunk with the tag natural=tree.

Additional tags

  • leaf_type=broadleaved/needleleaved - describes the type of leaves.
  • type=broad_leaved/conifer/palm - Caution: The usage of type=* for non-relation elements should be avoided!
  • genus=* - scientific name of the genus (first part of the scientific name). If you add species=* this is not necessary.
  • species=* - scientific name of the species (popularly known as the Latin name). Please use the namespaces for local languages (see examples)
  • taxon=* scientific name describing any taxonomic level e.g. order, family, genus, species, sub-species or cultivar
  • sex=male/female. Some species are dioecious, meaning that an indidivial has only male or only female flowers. A good known example are all willows (Salix).
  • circumference=* for the circumference of the trunk (measured in a height of 1 metre above ground). If no unit is given metres are assumed.
  • height=* for the height
  • name=* for individual trees which have a name, usually these are either individual trees with a historical or traditional name or trees with a name given in memory of special events (> memorial tree). The usual rules for name=* apply. This tag should not be used for a description of the species.
  • leaf_cycle=deciduous/evergreen/semi_deciduous/semi_evergreen - describes the phenology of leaves.

Subtag denotation to indicate the significance

It can be helpful to further describe the context and significance of a tree. It can be used for some maps to enhance landmarks and to tone down or skip unremarkable trees. There are some further suggestions for this on the discussion page. The tag denotation seems to be widely in use:

Tagging Symbol Description Picture Comments Hints / Links
denotation=* defines the context of the tree
  • the tree is remarkable due to its size or prominent location
  • usually visible from great distances and useful for navigation
an alternative might be landmark=*? wikipedia:Landmark
  • especially old tree, often with a particular shape. Usually protected for its uniqueness
an alternative is monument=* (see below) wikipedia:Natural monument
  • Trees aligned along a road

It might be sufficient to mark the entire tree row with natural=tree_row or the road with tree_lined=yes instead of mapping individual trees. However, this approach is somehow limited because it doesn't allow for further details on single trees, like different species.

in case of urban avenues it is suggested to use avenue and prioritize it over urban wikipedia:Avenue
  • "Urban trees"

Trees found within settlements, e.g. in parks or spread through residential areas. For large or dense groups of trees it may be better to just map the surrounding polygon with landuse=forest

  • "Generic Cluster"

Generically marks trees that are not standing alone. This tag is a rough estimate placed once by a bot to distinguish unmarked trees which are closer than 50 metres from each other with the assumption that these are more likely to be urban trees or forests rather than landmarks. If known, this value should be replaced by one of the more precise values above.

this contested tag was introduced unilaterally by a bot but most mappers find it useless because you can see this from the data and you can define your own limits. This tag is also not combineable with other denotation values like urban and avenue. find more about the circumstances in this wiki

Tree rows

If you want to map a line of trees, have a look at natural=tree_row. (When along a road, this is sometimes called "avenue of trees", allé or allée.) This approach can also be combined with individually mapped trees for further details.


A walnut tree (common walnut):

An oak tree (unknown species):

A spruce tree (unknown species):

A birch tree (unknown species):

A Canary Island date palm:

Possible Rendering

  • Tree broad-leafed.png - broad-leaved
  • Tree conifer.png - conifer

See also