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Urban trees and forest health

SV0015 Urban trees and forest health, 7.5 Credits

Skador på skog och träd i stadsmiljö

Syllabus approved



Forestry Science

Education cycle

Bachelor’s level


Title Credits Code
Forest damage identification and management 4.50 1002
Diagnostic techniques 2.00 1003
WAC 1.00 1004

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, less than 60 credits from first-cycle courses as entry requirements(G1F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

General entry requirements for first-cycle studies, and knowledge equivalent to:

- 15 credits forestry science or
- 15 credits forest sciences or
- 15 credits biology or
- 15 credits environmental science or
- 15 credits landscape architecture or
- 15 credits agricultural science or
- 15 credits natural resource management

Specific entry requirement also requires English B or equivalent. As the language of instruction is English, the Swedish language general entry requirement may not apply.


The course aims to give students basic knowledge about biotic and abiotic agents affecting individual tree and forest ecosystem health, including damage caused by insects, pathogens, and other environmental stressors. The course emphasizes the ecological roles of disturbance agents and how they can affect the economic and ecological sustainability of forests. Students will learn how to collect samples to identify damage using different diagnostic methods, what modern tools and techniques are available for early detection and monitoring, and mitigation and management options to promote better health and resilience in urban and rural forests. Case study approaches will be used with examples of damaging agents in Sweden, and globally. The course includes several field trips to visit insect and disease infestations in urban, peri-urban and rural forests to understand the effects of damage on from different social, ecological and economic perspectives.

After completing the course, students will be able to

- diagnose common tree damaging agents
- link and apply conceptual knowledge on integrated pest management to forested landscapes for current and future pests
- communicate and discuss topics related to forest ecosystem health using relevant terminology and scientific concepts
- synthesize the biology, etiology, epidemiology and management of native and exotic pests and diseases in forests.


The course contains lectures, laboratory and outdoor exercises and demonstrations, group and individual assignments (written and practical), discussions and seminars. Lectures and demonstrations will be conducted with scientific experts working with different damage types and with practitioners in plant protection (i.e. tree nurseries, city arborists, authorities, forest managers). Field excursions will focus on recognition and diagnoses of different biotic agents (native and exotic) and abiotic stressors on important trees in urban and rural settings. Laboratory sessions will focus on diagnostics using both conventional and modern, molecular techniques for identification. Group work as well as written and practical assignments are compulsory.

The Forestry science content is divided into sub-areas as follows:
- 5 credits Natural processes
- 2,5 credits Other in Forestry science

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written exam and approved compulsory components.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

SLU is environmentally certified according to ISO 14001. A large part of our courses cover knowledge and skills that contribute positively to the environment. To further strengthen this, we have specific environmental goals for the education. Students are welcome to suggest actions regarding the course’s content and implementation that lead to improvements for the environment. For more information, see webpage

Responsible department

Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom skog (PN - S)
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Forest and Landscape (BSc) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 19027 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Forestry Science
Course code: SV0015 Application code: SLU-20112 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre Pace: 100%