Trees fulfil important functions in cities. This project enabled citizens to watch the growth of urban trees.

trees, cities, climate

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Dornbirn, Innsbruck
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Smartphone
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, measuring, analysing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.10.2016 - 30.09.2018
Time to join in: from 01.01.2018
Expenditure of time: 5 minutes for reading out and uploading results on web platform
Project website:

Project objective

City trees fulfil manifold important functions such as improving the microclimate and air, absorbing noise or structuring places. In cities, drought and heat are generally more intense and other stress factors (e.g. air pollution) burden trees. Therefore, trees in cities are "living laboratories" enabling an analysis of stress mechanisms and responses as well as estimations of expected future changes, e.g. with respect to expected climate change. CITREE provided a tool to monitor urban tree growth. Citizens had the ability to participate in tree monitoring as well as see and learn how their trees are growing.

The project will be continued by the institute even after the end of the funded period by Top Citizen Science.

In 2017 and 2018, numerous trees were equipped with the CITREE dendrometer systems to monitor the growth of trees in Innsbruck, Ghent, Dornbirn and further locations. Readings of dendrometers were done by project co-workers as well as citizen scientists, whereby cooperation with schools enabled a high frequency of readings. Unfortunately, numerous problems due to vandalism occurred, though data quality, as demonstrated by a comparison with automated high resolution dendrometers, was high.  The CITREE system thus would be ready for use in other European cities. For now, further experience with already installed city trees will be gained.

The CITREE database collected and will continue to collect growth data of all equipped city trees and provide the data set for involved citizens, the broad public, public authorities and scientists. Furthermore, the project and results were presented at conferences and published in scientific articles.

Participating and supporting institutions


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Mayr

Project website:

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