Abstract ‘Adaptive stand dynamics models’ are presented in concept with a description of some component parts. These models are designed to predict change in gross tree dimensions (e.g. tree height, crown length and crown width) for trees in a given stand. Unlike growth and yield models, which use empirical equations fit to regional growth data, these models use available information from a specific stand and general stand dynamics theory to predict stand structure changes, and are designed to improve the predictions by utilizing remeasurement data from the subject stand. The author's current vision of an adaptive stand dynamics model has been used in two very different stands, one in the Pacific Northest USA and the other in Southern Midwest USA. This paper shows the potential of such models and explains how the model differs from traditional growth models.