A review of research and research needs in urban forestry was carried out in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway and Sweden during 2005. A questionnaire addressing post-2000 and ongoing research was sent to 146 researchers and generated 76 completed questionnaires. Universities were found to lead urban forestry research, while municipalities headed funding organisations in terms of number of projects funded. Planning, ecological and management aspects were the most common research themes, but socially oriented research also played an important role. The research needs questionnaire was sent to 192 key research actors (assignors, users and researchers), resulting in 63 completed needs assessments. The research themes of 'urban forest management', 'social and cultural values' and 'urban forest and green planning' were prioritised for future research. Comparison of ongoing research and research needs showed discrepancies, as ongoing research does not always cover the same themes identified as primary research needs. Priorities for future research as identified by the research community respective those assigning and using research also differed. Economic assessment of benefits, for example, scored much higher as a need among researchers than other respondents. In terms of present weaknesses in the research 'infrastructure', research actors emphasised lack of funding, fragmentation of research and insufficient critical mass. The region's urban forestry research can be enhanced and made more meaningful by strengthening national and international networking within the research community, across disciplines, as well as between researchers and those commissioning and using research.