Photo: Avenue of trees by the water

Project: Urban Tree Guard - Safeguarding European urban trees and forests through improved biosecurity

The aim of the project is to engage researchers and stakeholders to develop and recommend science-based, socially-acceptable and harmonized prevention strategies and technological solutions for safeguarding the urban trees and surrounding woodlands against new pests, in particular insects and pathogenic fungi.

Project information

The complete title of the project
CA20132 - Urban Tree Guard - Safeguarding European urban trees and forests through improved biosecurity (UB3Guard)
Project manager
Johanna Witzell
Other project members at Linnaeus University
Ingela Åberg, Linnéuniversitetet
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University and approximately 220 members from 140 organisations in 42 countries (
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
26 October 2021 – 25 October 2025
Forestry and wood technology (Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Faculty of Technology)

More about the project

Green infrastructure, including urban forests, has been proposed by European Commission as a strategy to support climate adaptation capacity and sustainable development in the urban areas where over 70% of the EU’s population live. Alarmingly, the green infrastructure and especially its characteristic elements, trees, are increasingly threatened by alien pests (insects and pathogens) that are introduced via trade and transports. In a new environment, these pests may become invasive, causing devastating environmental and economic losses, and threatening also unique cultural values such as those linked to veteran trees. The current biosecurity system fails to capture alien pests that often also benefit from the altered climate. New tools and better integration of different knowledge pools are urgently needed to support better biosecurity in urban settings. This project, funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology), will bring together a pan-European and international network of scientists and stakeholders to meet this challenge.