iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Use of LIDAR-based digital terrain model and single tree segmentation data for optimal forest skid trail network

Krzysztof Sterenczak (1), Tadeusz Moskalik (2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 5, Pages 661-667 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1355-007
Published: Dec 22, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

The implementation of rational forest management that takes into consideration the requirements of sustainable forest development requires many decisions to be made, ranging from simple rules to extremely complex procedures. This is also true of logging operations, where the applied techniques and technologies should relate not only to economic aspects, but also be maximally adapted to the specific forest environment. One of the most important determinants of environmentally safe and effective logging work is forest accessibility through an appropriately planned road and skid trail network. This paper presents the possibilities of using the Airborne Laser Scanner (ALS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to determine the optimal or near-optimal locations of forest skid trails. Choosing skid trails depends on the adopted logging method, existing road network, forest stand development phase, and terrain conditions. The process of optimization takes into account existing stand gaps to reduce the number of trees that must be removed for the network. Segments representing single trees and the Digital Terrain Model (DTM) served as inputs for the GIS analysis. The research was carried out in Scots pine stands. The obtained results show that the total length of skid trails, with 40 m distance between them, after optimization for traditional harvesting method decreased by 2%. For fully mechanized harvesting method, the skid trail network was decidedly denser (20 m) and an original length was reduced only by 0.06%. The results obtained confirmed the practical usefulness of the adopted procedures.


Logging, Airborne Laser Scanner, Single Tree Detection, Digital Terrain Model, Optimal Forest Skid Trail Network

Authors’ address

Krzysztof Sterenczak
Forest Research Institute, Department of Information Technology and Modelling, Braci Lesnej 3, 05-090 Raszyn (Poland)
Tadeusz Moskalik
Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW, Department of Forest Utilization, Faculty of Forestry, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warszawa (Poland)

Corresponding author

Tadeusz Moskalik


Sterenczak K, Moskalik T (2014). Use of LIDAR-based digital terrain model and single tree segmentation data for optimal forest skid trail network. iForest 8: 661-667. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1355-007

Academic Editor

Enrico Marchi

Paper history

Received: May 20, 2014
Accepted: Aug 22, 2014

First online: Dec 22, 2014
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2015
Publication Time: 4.07 months

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