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Tutorial Web-LiDAR forest inventory: Tree Extractor application - PDF

USDA - Rocky Mountain Research Station - RMRS SILVA, C.A.; HUDAK, A. T.; CROOKSTON, N. L. (2014)

1. How does the algorithm works?

Input and subset by height threshold Find the highest point

LiDAR data (.las)

Subset by tree height threshold

Find the highest point i=i+1 Yes


Variable tree crown radius ?


Tree crown radius

Tree crown radius estimation Classification

Tree crown radius fixed

Other trees

Target tree

Other trees

Target tree

No Empty?

Yes Stop

The flowchart of the Tree Extractor algorithm; i refers to the integration number. This algorithm is adapted from Li, W., Guo, Q., Jakubowski, M., Kelly, M. (2012): A New Method for Segmenting Individual Trees from the Lidar Point Cloud. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 78: 75-84.

2. Input LiDAR data (.las)


File size limitation for upload is 50 MB The input must to be a LiDAR data heightnormalized


3. Height Threshold ( m ) parameter

Default = 1.37 m

4. Tree crown radius ( m ) Fixed Radius




5. Tree crown radius ( m ) Variable Radius

The deciduous, pines and combined equations are from Popescu and Wynne (2004). Popescu, S.C. and R.H. Wynne, 2004. Seeing the trees in the forest: using lidar and multispectral data fusion with local filtering and variable window size for estimating tree height. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 70(5): 589-604.


Deciduous Pines Combined

Crown width (m)

25 20 15 10

1.5 m

2.3 m

0 0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48

Height (m) Crown Radius = ( crown width) / 2

6. Background and legend color

7. Plot tree trunk and axes

If the checkbox are selected, choose the colors for tree trunk and axes

The tree trunks are drawn by the location of the highest point in the point cloud of the trees

8. Start the LiDAR data processing

9. LiDAR data viewer

Summary of the LiDAR Metrics

Profile viewer of the LiDAR data

3D LiDAR viewer

10. Download the extracted trees and the corresponding LiDAR data
The target trees are given by the TreeID

Funding to support Carlos Silvas development of Web-LiDAR and its underlying functions was provided through a grant (RC-2243) from the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program: Patterns and processes: monitoring and understanding plant diversity in frequently burned longleaf pine landscapes. J. OBrien, PI; R. Mitchell, A. Hudak, L. Dyer, Co-PIs.
The LiDAR data provided as an example dataset is from a longleaf pine forest at Eglin AFB. Its collection was funded by a grant (11-2-1-11) from the Joint Fire Science Program: Data set for fuels, fire behavior, smoke, and fire effects model development and evaluationthe RxCADRE project. R. Ottmar, PI; multiple Co-Is.

Web-LiDAR was developed to support lidar-based forest inventory and management at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, USA. However, it has general applicability to other forests in other ecosystems, and we encourage users to test it broadly.