Proposal:Landuse=shrubs (Cartographer10)

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Proposal status: Canceled (inactive)
Proposed by: Cartographer10
Tagging: landuse=shrubs
Applies to: area
Definition: An area of shrubs and bushes on cultivated land, often used for decorative purposes or to fill space and where barrier=hedge does not apply.

Draft started: 2021-02-03
RFC start: 2021-02-03

This proposal has been replaced by the following proposal: Proposed features/shrubbery


The following landuse value is proposed:

  • landuse=shrubs to define an area of bushes on cultivated land and in the built environment, often used for decorative purposes or to fill space and where barrier=hedge does not apply.


One can find a variety of bushes in cultivated (urban) environments. Some of them have a distinct barrier function and are drawn as barrier=hedge (optionally width area=yes or width=* for the larger hedges). A lot of the shrubs and bushes though are decorative as primary function and cannot be defined with barrier=hedge as can be seen on the images below.

natural=scrub does also not apply here because scrubland is defined as

areas of uncultivated land covered with shrubs, bushes or stunted trees

leisure=garden does not apply here too because these shrubs and bushes don’t have a leisure function (in contrast to for example a botanic garden or rose garden). There is the tag natural=shrub but this tag is used for individual bushes as nodes. That leaves no distinct tag to define the bushes below, mainly in an urban environment. For these bushes, the tag landuse=shrubs is proposed.

The tag landuse=* is preferred over natural=* to emphasize that the shrubs and bushes are often planted for decorative purposes or to fill space in a cultivated area. Additonally, natural=shurbs is not preferred because it might conflict with the tag natural=scrub

The need for a tag like landuse=shrubs has become clear several times already. To my knowledge, it has been discussed several times on the Dutch openstreetmap forum [1] [2]. Prior to this proposal, it has also been discussed on the OSM World discord server where the need for this tag became clear.


landuse=shrubs should only be used on closed ways way. If a shrub or bush can be simplified to a line with a distinct barrier function, the tag barrier=hedge should be used instead. If trees are planted in those shrubs, these should be tagged either as natural=tree|tree_row. If the bushes are the groundcover of a forest or group of trees,  the tags landuse=forest or natural=wood are preferred.

Additionally, thelanduse=shrubs can be supplied with tags like leaf_cycle=*, leaf_type=* or genus=* to further specify the bushes.



For the rendering, it is proposed to use the background color of landuse=forest and barrier=hedge and the bush symbols of natural=scrub. This is done to create a distinct difference from natural=scrub but to still indicate that it is woody vegetation related to the three previous mentioned features.

Landuse bush area render.png

Features/Pages affected

If this tag value is approved, a new wiki page for this landuse value needs to be created and the value needs to be added to the landuse overviews.

Additionally, on the pages for barrier=hedge , natural=scrub, leisure=garden, landuse=village_green and natural=shrub, need to be adjusted to link to the new landuse=bush tag.


Please comment on the discussion page.