In QGIS I have two words e.g. the species name I would like to extract and put in its own column and then extract each of the numbers individually into its own column that represents DBH, height and spread. I have had a look at a few examples here and I cannot get it to work for me.

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


Working with tree data is right up my alley! I'm sure you could use expressions in the field calculator to do this, but if you would like to use pyqgis, you can add and populate all four fields at once. I chose this method partly because it looks as though there are some inconsistencies in your data (at least one row has commas separating the measurement values).

As a general rule, I always advise to make a backup copy of your layer first, as this script will permanently edit your data.

  1. Open the Python console (Ctrl+Alt+P) or click the icon enter image description here

  2. Open a new editor by clicking this icon:

enter image description here

  1. Copy and paste the script below into the editor. Note: You will only need to edit the very first line. In my example it is 'Tree_info'. You need to change this to the name of your field which contains the data you want to extract (Corymbia propinqua 38, 26, 7 etc).


field_name = 'Tree_info' # The name of your column which contains the information you wish to extract

lyr = iface.activeLayer()

flds_to_add = [
        QgsField('Species', QVariant.String),
        QgsField('DBH', QVariant.Int, len=3),
        QgsField('Height', QVariant.Int, len=2),
        QgsField('Spread', QVariant.Int, len=2)


sp_idx = lyr.fields().lookupField('Species')
dbh_idx = lyr.fields().lookupField('DBH')
ht_idx = lyr.fields().lookupField('Height')
sprd_idx = lyr.fields().lookupField('Spread')

att_map = {}

for f in lyr.getFeatures():
    col_data = f[field_name]
    data_split = col_data.split(' ')
    sp_name = f'{data_split[0].strip(",")} {data_split[1].strip(",")}'
    dbh = int(data_split[2].strip(','))
    ht = int(data_split[3].strip(','))
    sprd = int(data_split[4].strip(','))
    att_map[f.id()] = {sp_idx: sp_name, dbh_idx: dbh, ht_idx: ht, sprd_idx: sprd}
  1. Make sure your layer is selected in the Table of Contents and click Run to execute the script (this icon):

enter image description here

The image below is of the script in my Python console.

enter image description here

You should get the following result (fields added to your layer and populated with the extracted values):

enter image description here

  • 1
    @Simon Muirhead, I just made a small edit to my answer. I re-read your question and realised you want to extract both genus and species together (originally I thought you wanted only species). I have updated the script to do that.
    – Ben W
    Feb 13, 2022 at 7:04
  • 1
    I just replied without checking the comments! Thank you very much, it is greatly appreciated. I really need to get field work data sorted so we are collecting the data in individual fields. Feb 13, 2022 at 7:55
  • @Simon Muirhead, no problem :-) Great. It sounds like you got the result you were after? Do you use a field data collection app? There are a couple that work very well with QGIS. I have used QField a lot and can thoroughly recommend it. There is also Input (which I haven't tried but it is also widely used and looks very good). Using something like that could help a lot with consistency of field data entry.
    – Ben W
    Feb 13, 2022 at 8:10
  • BTW, if the answer solved your problem would you mind accepting it with the check mark? Cheers.
    – Ben W
    Feb 13, 2022 at 8:11
  • 1
    Gladly accepted. Definitely works :) I had everyone using collector when I was at Arcadis, but where am now doesn't have ESRI money. I will check out Qfield ASAP! Feb 13, 2022 at 8:21

Using the processing tools and expressions:

  • algorithm: Refactor fields
  • expression: regexp_replace ("field2", '^(\\D+) (\\d+) (\\d+) (\\d+)', '\\x')

where x takes values 1,2,3,4 in the 4 fields


enter image description here

add 4 fields, using the icons on the right of the window, and populate them with the expression above.


enter image description here

  • 1
    very clean and easy, it's the best answer
    – aborruso
    Feb 13, 2022 at 10:27
  • Thanks for this. I was just wondering what you used to populate the 'Load fields from template layer'? I cans see you are using CSV layer maybe? Feb 13, 2022 at 21:34
  • that's right, I used a CSV
    – pigreco
    Feb 14, 2022 at 8:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.