Compute the hull of each tree.

Compute the hull of each segmented tree. The hull can be convex, concave or a bounding box (see details and references).

tree_hulls(las, type = c("convex", "concave", "bbox"), concavity = 3,
  length_threshold = 0, attribute = "treeID")

An object of class LAS or LAScatalog.


character. Hull type. Can be 'convex', 'concave' or 'bbox'.


numeric. If type = "concave", a relative measure of concavity. 1 results in a relatively detailed shape, Infinity results in a convex hull.


numeric. If type = "concave", when a segment length is below this threshold, no further detail is added. Higher values result in simpler shapes.


character. The attribute where the ID of each tree is stored. In lidR, the default is "treeID".


The concave hull method under the hood is described in Park & Oh (2012). The function relies on the concaveman function which itself is a wrapper around Vladimir Agafonking's implementation.


A SpatialPolygonsDataFrame. If a tree has less than 4 points it is not considered.

Working with a LAScatalog

This section appears in each function that supports a LAScatalog as input.

In lidR when the input of a function is a LAScatalog the function uses the LAScatalog processing engine. The user can modify the engine options using the available options. A careful reading of the engine documentation is recommended before processing LAScatalogs. Each lidR function should come with a section that documents the supported engine options.

The LAScatalog engine supports .lax files that significantly improve the computation speed of spatial queries using a spatial index. Users should really take advantage a .lax files, but this is not mandatory.

Supported processing options

Supported processing options for a LAScatalog (in bold). For more details see the LAScatalog engine documentation:

  • chunk size: How much data is loaded at once.

  • chunk buffer*: Mandatory to get a continuous output without edge effects. The buffer is always removed once processed and will never be returned either in R or in files.

  • chunk alignment: Align the processed chunks.

  • cores: How many cores are used.

  • progress: Displays a progression estimation.

  • output_files: Supported templates are {XLEFT}, {XRIGHT}, {YBOTTOM}, {YTOP}, {XCENTER}, {YCENTER} {ID} and, if chunk size is equal to 0 (processing by file), {ORIGINALFILENAME}.

  • laz_compression: write las or laz files

  • select: The function will write files equivalent to the original ones. Thus select = "*" and cannot be changed.

  • filter: Read only points of interest.


Park, J. S., & Oh, S. J. (2012). A new concave hull algorithm and concaveness measure for n-dimensional datasets. Journal of Information science and engineering, 28(3), 587-600.

  • tree_hulls
LASfile <- system.file("extdata", "MixedConifer.laz", package="lidR")
las = readLAS(LASfile, select = "xyz0", filter = "-drop_z_below 0")

convex_hulls = tree_hulls(las)

bbox_hulls = tree_hulls(las, "bbox")

# }
concave_hulls = tree_hulls(las, "concave")
# }
Documentation reproduced from package lidR, version 2.0.0, License: GPL-3

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