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How Gustafsborg improves clearing and thinning operations with Katam

By utilizing Katam’s drone based solution, roughly 200 hectares were surveyed in less than eight hours using an ordinary consumer drone.

Primary use case
Clearing, Thinning
Industry segment

Forest owners and trusted partners

Gustafsborgs Säteri AB is a renowned forest owner in southern Sweden. A significant part of the company’s possession consists of broad-leaf forests and Common Beech in particular.

In addition to managing their own forests, Gustavsborgs Säteri is also a trusted partner that helps manage the forests of many other owners.

With this certification, they ensure that the entire process followed by their raw materials is monitored from the forest to the marketed product.

In a self-reproduced beech forest, there are large amounts of seedlings.

The challenge

Expensive traditional inventory

Beech is self-reproducing, which initially results in large amounts of seedlings. The number of stems are reduced stepwise in several cycles. Traditionally this is a work-intensive, manual procedure that results in large costs for the forest owner. Since self-reproduction spans many years, this leads to large variations in height within a forest stand.

At Gustafsborg, canopy heights are measured to determine the proper time and extent of clearing-and thinning during operations. They want to increase their efficiency, to save time and money as well as to improve the quality of their beech forests.

“The very precise canopy height and especially its distribution enables us to easily determine the scope of an operation, its feasibility and define where to send the harvester or clearing crew.”

Mats de Val, Forest Manager at Gustafsborgs Säteri

Drone measurement of juvenile beech forests.

The solution

A new way to measure canopy height

In close cooperation with Gustafsborgs Säteri, Katam helped develop a new method for analysis of juvenile canopy height. Using drones and Katam software, image data for beech stands was analyzed and digital geo-referenced height distribution maps were delivered.

This lead to a new visualization of canopy height, which enabled Gustafsborg to take targeted action in different areas of the stands depending on canopy height. The data was also used to upgrade the existing stand documentation into a new database that will ensure efficient management of Gustafsborg’s forests in the future.

Reduced costs

By transparent planning documentation, the productivity of work-intensive manual labor improves. This results in reduced costs as well as higher quality.


Measurement solutions from Katam makes it possible to execute dedicated, selected actions within stands with large variety in height and density.

Harvest profitability

When enhanced by modern technology, the self-regeneration model chosen by Gustafsborg results in the highest quality of the final stand. This increases the total profit of the harvest.

More case studies

Learn how Katam can help you

Book an online meeting with one of our experts to see what Katam can do for your forestry business.