Photo by Thomas Rötzer - permanent measurements of the growth and environmental performance of urban trees in Munich

Permanent measurements of growth and environmental performance on urban trees in Munich.

Photo by Thomas Rötzer

CUT – Climate and Urban Trees.

Effects of trees on urban climates during climate change.

Project description

Investigation for different cities and climatic zones.

The international research project - funded by the DFG Middle East Cooperation – aims to quantify growth and ecosystem services of urban trees in cities along a climate gradient. The effects of urban microclimate on tree growth and their related services under current climate and future climate change scenarios will be quantified. In addition to cities with a temperate climate in Germany, cities in Israel, Palestine and Jordan with Mediterranean and arid climate will be analysed (Fig. 1).

Grafics from TUM – Climatic zones based on the Köppen-Geiger climate classification and climate diagrams of the selected cities

Figure 1: Climatic zones based on the Köppen-Geiger climate classification and climate diagrams of the selected cities.

The collected data will be used to study growth patterns and morphological characteristics of urban trees and their relationship to the microclimate. Permanent tree laboratories will be installed to collect meteorological data as well as continuous growth and water balance measurements at urban trees with high temporal resolution.

Within the project the effects of the urban microclimate on tree growth in terms of stress (heat stress, water limitation and drought) will be analysed, the impacts of the environment on ecosystem services of urban trees (C-storage, cooling, shading) along the chosen climate gradient will be simulated by different models.

Morphologic and eco-physiological tree measurements will be combined with model approaches for the quantification of growth and ecosystem services (CityTree model). Using their results and microclimatic modelling (Green CTTC model) statements can be drawn for a sustainable management of urban green spaces.

Graphic by TUM – Schematic overview of the project content

Figure 2:
Schematic overview of the project contents

The following investigations will be conducted during the project:

  1. Analysis of the effect of urban trees on urban ecosystems in terms of ameliorating the microclimate and human well-being benefits depending on (i) tree growth and vitality (ii) tree species (iii) tree canopy characteristics (iv) climate region of the city and (v) specific site conditions including site morphology, built surfaces and anthropogenic factors
  2. Investigating the influence of both micro-scales (park, street canyon, open square) and macro-scale (climate region) conditions on growth patterns of urban trees regarding drought stress, species characteristics and irrigation regimes
  3. Analysis of micro- and macro-scale climate features on the provided ecosystem services (C-fixation, transpirational cooling, shading, surface run-off)
  4. Assessment and simulation of urban tree growth and ecosystem services provided by urban trees stands under different climatic scenarios at micro- and macro-scale
  5. Upscaling of growth and services from single trees to tree rows, squares and parks by combining modelling approaches and draw conclusions for future green infrastructure planning



  • 2020-01-01 - 2020-12-31


Project partners

Contact: CUT

Technical University of Munich
Prof. Dr. Thomas Rötzer
Room: (Green Finger, 2nd Floor)
Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2
D-85354 Freising


Tel.: +49 (0) 8161-71-4667
Fax: +49 (0) 8161-71-4721

Technical University of Munich (TUM) – Chair for Strategic Landscape Planning and Management –
Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, Israel (DSASC) -

Technical University of Munich (TUM) - Chair of Forest Growth and Yield Science –