Abstract The recent applications of satellite remote sensing for forest management are reviewed mainly on the basis of European experience. The review is illustrated using results of the applied research during the first two years of SPOT-1 in orbit. The potential and limitations of satellite imagery, specific to SPOT, are discussed from the forestry point of view. Research results concerning forest cover type mapping, forest inventory and change monitoring - including the European forest decline - are reported. An evaluation of digital SPOT-data for forest inventory purposes in northern Sweden is reported in more detail. The original SPOT-data was preprocessed, integrated (PA + XS-bands) and filtered for texture extraction. A texture based algorithm was tested for finding logging roads. The timber stand delineation method developed combines image segmentation, classification of the segments and the final delineation of stands using an expert system. The results show that (1) the computer-aided forest mapping leads to acceptable forest management units, and (2) the manual stand delineation using digitally enhanced SPOT-data (color prints) coincides very well with the actual forest maps used for comparison. Finally, the potential applications of satellite remote sensing for forestry in the 1990's are outlined.