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In the alpine area, near the tree line there are a lot of areas that are covered with just a few trees. There are far too many to map each tree individually, but the trees are too far apart to call it a forest or woodland. The trees are mostly pines, so the scrub tag is not correct. On other maps I have seen that these areas are rendered as a green dotted area, but I do not know if OSM has a tag for this. Has anyone got any examples of the correct tags?

asked 25 Oct '21, 20:58

Amanning's gravatar image

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I think Krummholz (, which I think is what you are referring to, is generally accepted as an ecological woodland habitat rather than a scrub one, despite the relative sparsity of trees. Long ago someone suggested to me Hexbinning tree locations as a way of estimating density.

(27 Oct '21, 10:02) SK53 ♦

Agreed. The tagging options for ground cover are a bit binary really, forcing you to choose between Natural Wood, scrub, meadow or grass, when often none really reflect what's out there, which is often scruffy grass with a small number of small bushes/trees, or scrub/grass with a few mature trees

(04 Mar '22, 14:56) Mikey Co

@mikey-co I'd definitely have a look at the subtags that people have used with those top-level values.

(04 Mar '22, 15:12) SomeoneElse ♦

@SomeoneElse The sub tags still aren't very useful though, as while you can describe the type of tree, you can't describe the density. For example I'm looking at some land at the moment, where the tag "Natural Wood" would imply dense forest, when in reality the trees are far more spaced apart. Too many trees to be scrub also.

(07 Mar '22, 11:51) Mikey Co

wood:density= (~15k instances) was raised in , most being =sparse (~13k instances) . Other *:density= was proposed for =scrub and =shrubbery.

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answered 26 Oct '21, 05:16

Kovoschiz's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

edited 26 Oct '21, 05:16

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question asked: 25 Oct '21, 20:58

question was seen: 1,456 times

last updated: 07 Mar '22, 11:51

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum