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Available languages — Tag:natural=wood
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Public-images-osm logo.svg natural = wood
Tree-covered area (a 'forest' or 'wood') not managed for economic purposes. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Group: Forest
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

Tree-covered area (a 'forest' or 'wood') not managed for economic purposes.

Commonly used tag in case of primary forest (e.g. tropical forests, taiga).

There are major differences in the way this tag and landuse=forest are used by some Openstreetmap users.

Most of mappers use this tag for woodland not impacted by forestry management.

Many mappers use this tag to show wooded land in urban areas.

Others use this tag only for forest of natural origin.

It is also used for any forest, by mappers that are not interested in making distinction between both tags.

In some countries there are special agreements about using these tags which are approved by local communities.

Please see the page Forest to compare the usage of this tag and landuse=forest.

Tag description

Tag natural=wood is primarily used in less developed or uninhabited regions of the world, often with intact natural environment, such as: Eastern Europe, Latin America or Asia. Almost all wooded areas in these regions are of natural origin; only some wooded areas are managed. In more developed regions such as Western Europe, this tag is used for usually smaller wooded areas like copses or urban woodlands.

Types of wooded areas, for which this tag is commonly used:

  • primary forest (e.g. Amazon rainforest, taiga)
  • wooded area in wasteland (e.g. woodland on abandoned farmland, woodland on steep slopes between cultivated lands)
  • copse of trees (e.g. woodland alongside a river or stream)
  • tree-covered land in urban areas (e.g. woodland in residential area, woodland in a park)

In the most broad interpretation, tag natural=wood may be used for every wooded area, while landuse=forest is a tag for wooded areas which are used by humans.

How to map

Draw an area to match shape of woodland and tag it natural=wood. If exact match is infeasible then approximate shape is acceptable. As the last resort place a node instead of an area.

Additional tags

  • name=* - name of woodland
  • leaf_type=broadleaved/needleleaved/mixed - describes the type of leaves / needles.
  • leaf_cycle=deciduous/evergreen/mixed - describes the phenology of leaves / needles.


If leaf_type=* is also set, this can be indicated by appropriate symbols for conifers, deciduous trees and mixed forests.

Tag Rendering Comment Pictures
leaf_type=broadleaved Leaftype broadleaved.png Broadleaved woodland (doesn't mean deciduous). WaldAlfeld.jpg Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest.jpg
leaf_type=needleleaved Leaftype needleleaved.png Needleleaved woodland Swiss National Park 131.JPG Pinus canariensis (Barlovento) 06 ies.jpg
leaf_type=mixed Leaftype mixed.png Mixed woodland. Mixed forest-Poland spring.jpg 09272008 BrightonUT.JPG
leaf_type=leafless Leaftype leafless.png Leafless vegetation Sentinel Peak Tucson Arizona.JPG Saguaro jul04 38.jpg

Tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also