Skeletal trees are commonly used in order to express geometric properties of the shape. Accordingly, tree-edit distance is used to compute a dissimilarity between two given shapes. We present a new tree-edit based shape matching method which uses a recent coarse skeleton representation. The coarse skeleton representation allows us to represent both shapes and shape categories in the form of depth-1 trees. Consequently, we can easily integrate the influence of the categories into shape dissimilarity measurements. The new dissimilarity measure gives a better within group versus between group separation, and it mimics the asymmetric nature of human similarity judgements. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.