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Monospecific forests

Hi there,

Is there a way to tell that a forest is a monospecific planted one (maritime pine, eucalyptus, Oregon pine, poplar, spruce, larch, maple...) ? We often can see such rows of planted trees on aerial photographs. And, on the ground, it is not difficult to recognize such forests. I think that it could be interesting to map this characteristic, for this kind of forest is more agricultural than natural. It would be useful for people interested in biodiversity, resilience... Natural forest can have a high prominence of one species (like beech, oak, fir...) without being not monospecific planted.

I would suggest a monospecific=yes tag. I suppose that few people can use the species=* tag. But the trees=* created for a use with the tag landuse=orchard can be reused also for this purpose, with English names easier to understand than the pseudo-latin of the species. It would be easy to make a interlanguage table of main trees (with the species for who want). Thanks for your remarks. FrViPofm (talk) 21:54, 14 March 2023 (UTC)


There is considerable differences of what this value means. And people change the definition to suit their ideas. My definition? 'Human use of a normally tree covered area, usually for producing timber'. The area when harvested may not have trees on it - so saying it is tree covered is not all the time true. How would a mapper determine if the trees are human planted or modified? And why does that matter? Is it not enough that the trees will be used for human purposes? Warin61 (talk) 03:01, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

I do not accept the use of this tag for areas of trees that are not intended for a human productive use of the trees. Warin61 (talk) 03:01, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

  • "I do not accept the use of this tag for" - note that OSM Wiki is not describing your opinions. It is describing real tag usage and some proposals how tag should be used but usage trumps personal feelings Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:37, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
  • "My definition?"- with new tags we have luxury of making definitions. In case of tags used millions of times it is too late to introduce definitions changing how tag is used, we may only describe real usage Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:39, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

  • It was always generally defined what landuse=forest means. I think we should specify this definition in more precise way, to make clear distinction from natural=wood.

You have right, managed forest is not always covered with trees. Appropiate definition should include both human use and ecology of wooded area. What with wild, virgin woodland (not managed), where logging sometimes occurs (the best example is an Amazon rainforest)? Such woodland should be tagged as natural=wood. Wooded area planted in park or residential area could be also for human purposes, but should not be tagged as landuse=forest.

Fundamental thing is economical, industrial use - planned management of wooded area for producing timber.

So, I think every word in this definition is appropiate: Normally tree-covered area planted or managed by a human for timber production

In every managed woodland, there are some signs of forestry management and obtaining timber: tree stumps after cutted trees, clear-cutted areas, usually no dead trees, track network for forestry vehicles, etc. Besides, planted trees almost always are in regular rows/patterns. Elgon (talk) 00:49, 11 November 2018 (UTC)

As Mateusz Konieczny said above, "In case of tags used millions of times, it is too late to introduce a new definition changing how the tag is used, we may only describe real usage". Please do not edit the page to describe how you think the tag is used. If you check areas tagged landuse=forest in various countries, it is clear that it is used for all sorts of areas covered by trees, including those in residential areas that are not intended to be used to produce forestry products, and for forests in remote areas, including protected Federal Wilderness in the United States, where timber production and exploitation are prohibited. This is probably due to the various meanings of "wood" and "forest" in different dialects of English. As with natural=wood, it isn't possible to say with certainty if a certain area of trees is managed or not, based on these two tags. --Jeisenbe (talk) 15:35, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

No layer

"layer" is a relative tag. Forest is a standalone tag, it does not use any "layer". --Markus 10:46, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

No natural=*

This is only for virgin forrest (natural=wood). --Markus 21:59, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Some areas used to harvest timber use native tress, some of them are grown naturally. However a mapper to determine this requires a fair amount of knowledge and then the future may change this practice. Perhaps specify the species of trees. Warin61 (talk) 03:01, 10 November 2018 (UTC)


The classification of wood types cannot be a mixture from different types of distinctions. Either it's evergreen vs decidious or broadleaf vs coniferous, not decidious vs coniferous. It's like dividing vehicles into four-wheeled or red. It's not making much sense.

"Forests can be classified in different ways and to different degrees of specificity. One such way is in terms of the "biome" in which they exist, combined with leaf longevity of the dominant species (whether they are evergreen or deciduous). Another distinction is whether the forests composed predominantly of broadleaf trees, coniferous (needle-leaved) trees, or mixed." -- Wikipedia:forest

--Bengibollen 20:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree. For instance, Larch can be both coniferus and decidious (its pine needles fall off in winter) and alternatively Holly trees are broad leafed but are evergreen. I have updated the page using:

type=broad_leafed/coniferous/palm/mix taken from the natural=tree page wood=decideous/evergreen/shrubs/mixed --Hawkeyes 19:50, 2 June 2011

Please avoid using type=* (for just about anything). A way with landuse=forest (or, rather, natural=wood) can have other tags which could (but shouldn't, either) also make use of type - and you'd have a conflict. The convention has always been to use descriptive keys wood=coniferous, and, say, leaves=evergreen/deciduous/... Anyway such drastic changes should go through the tagging mailing list at minimum. Current tagging is not like that. Alv 08:20, 3 June 2011 (BST)
maybe foliage=broadleaf/coniferous and foliage_persistence=deciduous/evergreen? --Ulf Mehlig 19:12, 3 May 2012 (BST)

year chopped

Where known - i.e. just saw the logs by the road with a clearcutting area visible - I'm starting to use clearcut_year=2008. For non-clearcutting areas but with present significant chopping activity chop_year=*. Alv 17:41, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Also used last_full_chop=*, clear_cut_date=*, even more than the tag suggested above. Alv (talk) 10:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

There is also logging=clearcutting and logging=selective_cutting with logging:start_date=* as seen with the questionable landuse=logging, but with landuse=forest they fit Dalkvist (talk) 17:41, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

woodland option

To make a more clear distinction from natural=wood or landuse=forest: Perhaps using the term [wikipedia:woodland] would be appropriate, as it a land area covered in trees with a specific purpose. Where as a 'protected area' or '[wikipedia:nature conservation] or [wiki:old growth forest] is also more specific.

Also, the term [wikipedia:woodlot] is the American equivalent for British woodland. Where the area can be subdivided for logging.

To further clearly define the use of the area, adding the operator|* and name|* should avoid confusion, as this is more precise. --acrosscanadatrails 01:55, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

"Coto de caza"

In Spain there are enclosure of natural wood that owners have permission for hunting animals. These areas are named "Coto de caza" (Hunting enclosures?). Most of this areas are mantained (owners clean the streams of dead wood, etc.). So I think it's landuse=forest, isn't?

Thanks,--Xan 15:45, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Typo "broad_leafed"?

Copied from natural=tree discussion:

I would assume that the value should be broad_leaved, see e.g. wikipedia:Broad-leaved_tree, but I'm not a native speaker. Is this a typo or intentional? --Tordanik 03:34, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Broad-leafed is sometimes seen, but it is not correct, it should be broad-leaved. It is probably misapplied from the word 'leafed', which is correctly found with a different meaning, as in I leafed through the book. Indigomc 22:52, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. This leaves us with the question what we should do about it. Unfortunately, that value has been added to the data a few ten thousand times, for example by the tree import in Girona. Simply fix the wiki page and add a note about the fact that there are lots of misspelled tags in the database? Ask the tagging mailing list? --Tordanik 23:25, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'd say to fix the wiki page. I did think about doing this last night, but thought I'd wait to see what other opinions were. Actually I would also look to change it wholesale in the data if such a thing is possible.
However, having done some google searches, it seems that there is a still a lot of use of 'broad-leafed'; about 100000 returns, compared with about 500000 for 'broad-leaved'. It might therefore be said that it is an accepted alternative form. I would still say it is incorrect.
Indigomc 11:50, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I've changed to broad_leaved - going to create a page for this soon as well as coniferus and palm and mixed etc and try to get a bit more guidance together. I'll add information about this discussion and change so any using the data will know to look for broad_leafed as well. Hawkeyes 13:12, 17 October 2011

Forest icon

Forest icon is a pine tree at higher zoom - this probably doesn't best represent all the types of landuse=forest e.g. broad-leaved plantation, palm plantation, rubber tree plantation etc. Suggest a plain green rendering without pine tree at higher zoom levels?

ITO map for wood tags

I have asked Ito maps to produce a map showing landuse=forest, natural=wood, wood= tagged areas etc. Please chip into the discussion here:

ito map wood=

Forest vs Wood

I would like to suggest this method to distinct between the two tags:

If a pedestrian can walk through the area in any direction, it is a forest. Otherwise it is natural=wood. In this case you can only cross the area through paths or tracks.

A wood in a nature reserve can be very sparse, i.e. one can walk through the area in any direction. A recently felled (full chop) area used for forestry can be just scrub unmanageable on foot for several years. Alv (talk) 07:01, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
As Alv said, this is a poor distinction as Alv said. Old-growth forests (your prototypical natural=wood) often have very high canopies, and can be traversed with minor difficulties, young forests (i.e. recently logged) are often full of thick scrub and very difficult to move through. Part of the problem here is that landuse=forest implies too many different, unrelated things. -Alan Trick (talk) 17:13, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

The key wood=* is deprecated

The key wood=* is deprecated. Please consider to use the approved key leaf_type=broadleaved/needleleaved/mixed instead of wood=deciduous/coniferous/mixed. Please consider also updating the tagging of existing elements that you have mapped yourself. --Rudolf (talk) 22:16, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Cleaning suggest: overlapping with Tag:natural=wood

Most of this page is overlapped with Tag:natural=wood and each of them are edited individually and inconsistency. So I want to reform these pages. In my idea:

  • The current page Forest should be changed into a Feature page. It is written common part of landuse=forest and natural=wood.
  • Remove common part from these tag pages, and make them to dedicate the explanation usages of the tag.

--Mfuji (talk) 03:23, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

OK! Sounds good, let's try to de-duplicate content. Please link Forest at Environment page (probably above "Landuse" section). Xxzme (talk) 03:35, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Not the best idea. Note that Tag:natural=wood and Tag:landuse=forest are directly linked from many places. Forest page is much harder to find. Maybe redirect Tag:natural=wood and Tag:landuse=forest to Forest and there describe how forests are tagged? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:04, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
"Forest" will be easier to find in Category:Features and using wiki search (nobody will search for "Tag:natural=wood" unless they know answer...) after Mfuji suggestion. Yes, we need to resolve many references to these 2 tags instead of feature page Forest. Xxzme (talk) 08:13, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Tag:natural=wood is linked from iD, JOSM, tag lists on, taginfo etc etc. These links are based directly on tags and may not be modified as generation is automatic. The only viable solution is to live with duplication or redirect these pages to a single one (what may break some tools, like automatic generation of description on taginfo). Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
We may leave only necessary information here (tagdescription table) and link to Forest. Or even transclude sections from Forest as many times as required at wiki. Tag:landuse=forest/Tag:natural=wood are terrible places to explain all differences between approaches. Xxzme (talk) 08:30, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the explanation of the tag's minimum usage should be left in respective tag pages, not to make them vacant. And we should write in each pages to refer the new "Forest" page, of course. So it doesn't need to be worried about there are many links to each tags' pages.
I think I will create the new "Forest" page first, then we discuss which explanations should be left in the tag pages (with "Cleeanup" template).--Mfuji (talk) 12:19, 4 May 2015 (UTC)