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Research cooperation for biomass measurements

Zichow, a small village in north-east Brandenburg, was one of the first Tiny Forest locations in Germany. But how is this small forest developing? And how many trees are growing on the designated area? To find out, Ramazan Bülbül from IT4Forests supported MIYA e.V. with technical expertise and analyses. FST graduate Stefan Scharfe - one of the founders of MIYA e.V. - is promoting Tiny Forest throughout Germany and had approached Prof Dr J.P. Mund for support.

On 13 June, we carried out the next laser scan of our Tiny Forest in the Uckermark with Professor Dr Mund from the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development and the IT4forests research group. Geoslam technology was used for this. The 20m x 45m Tiny Forest was measured and analysed in spring 2022, spring 2023 and summer 2023 using the Geoslam handheld laser. After scanning the field data, several steps of data pre-processing and analysis followed, such as cropping the geodata, thinning the point cloud and calculating the volume, normalising the terrain, segmenting the watershed and reconstructing the vegetated surface.

Biomass development

According to the analysis results, the total biomass in the Tiny Forest increased by 209% from 51 m³/hectare to 157 m³/hectare within one year. These are very high values compared to the growth dynamics in forest plantations. However, these results should be viewed with caution, as this is a very young stand. In order to be able to make really valid statements, continuous monitoring over the next few decades is now required.

Number of trees

Using the watershed segmentation method, the it4forest team identified 2337 of the 2400 trees planted in the Tiny Forest at a height of 0.4 m above the ground in spring 2022. Although the heights of the young trees were still between 30 and 200 cm, the correct number of individuals could be determined.

In spring 2023, there were already 2547 trees, i.e., more than originally planted. The increase in the number of trees could be related to the colonisation of naturally introduced trees. Birch and ash trees in particular were observed as natural regeneration in the area.

Height increase

The average height of all trees increased over the course of the year from 0.84 metres to 1.05 metres, which corresponds to an increase of 25%. The tallest individuals were over three metres high after only three years.


The tested methods of data processing and segmentation measurements provided information on the number of plants, total biomass and height distribution. In the future, it will be possible to continuously collect data in this way and precisely visualise the growth dynamics of Tiny Forests. We are delighted about the successful cooperation, which is planned for at least the next 10 years.

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