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Urban Tree Guard – UB3 Guard – Safeguarding European urban trees and forests through improved biosecurity

International project


STATUS: Ongoing
Project start: 26. Oct 2021.
Project end: 25. Oct 2025.


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. The Action will bring together a pan-European and international network of scientists and stakeholders to meet this challenge. The network will 1) Collect, share and harmonize scientific and stakeholder knowledge, 2) Accelerate development of innovative technological tools and solutions for biosecurity purposes, 3) Inform policy and support implementation of the EU plant health regime while providing science-based recommendations for decision makers, especially at operational levels, 4) Foster an inclusive and open research environment, with explicit support to young professionals, and 5) Increase European competitiveness in the field of biosecurity, improving also the quality of everyday life for people, especially urban dwellers, in Europe and beyond.


Action keywords

urban trees and forests – green infrastructures – biological invasions – alien invasive species – tree and forest health

MC members for Croatia – Dr Dinka Matošević and Dr Milan Pernek

Action Chair and Grant Holder Scientific Representative,  Prof Johanna Witzell

Action Vice Chair, Prof Roeland Samson

Science Communication Coordinator, Dr Laura Verbrugge

Grant Awarding Coordinator, Dr Leticia Botella Sánchez

WG1 IDENTIFICATION – Leader Dr Mariella Marzano

WG2 INNOVATION – Leader Dr Diana Marčiulynienė

WG3 INTEGRATION – Leader Dr Dijana Vuletić

WG4 INFORMATION  – Leader Dr Kathrin Blumenstein



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