This study analyses the aerodynamic effects of trees on local meteorological variables through in situ measurements and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. Measurements are taken in the inner core of a medium-size Mediterranean city (Lecce, IT) where two adjacent street canyons of aspect ratio H/W∼1 (where H is the average building height and W is the average width of the street) with and without trees are investigated. Building façades and ground temperatures are estimated from infrared (IR) images, while flow and turbulence are measured through three ultrasonic anemometers placed at different heights close to a building façade at half length of the canyon. Tree crown porosity is evaluated through the Leaf Area Index (LAI) measured by a ceptometer. Numerical simulations are made using a CFD code equipped with the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) for the treatment of turbulence. Overall, the analysis of measurements shows that trees considerably reduce the longitudinal wind speed up to 30%. Trees alter the typical diurnal cycle of surface and air temperature within the canyon, suggesting that in nocturnal hours the trapping of heat is more important than the power of passive cooling through evapo-transpiration. Comparative numerical simulations provide further evidence that flow velocity reduces in presence of trees and although the typical wind channeling observed without trees is still maintained, trees enhance the formation of a corner vortex leading to reverse flow at the openings of the street. The reduction of the exchange of momentum between the canyon and the atmosphere above, shown by the measurements in presence of trees is confirmed by numerical simulations.

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