The negative climate change induced by rapid urbanization has become a global environmental issue. Numerous studies have been devoted to microclimate regulation functions performed by urban vegetation. Digital city information modeling provides a powerful tool for various simulations and data analytics for the sustainable development of urban areas. However, the method reconstructing urban trees is still in its early stage compared to the relatively mature building modeling. Most prior studies on tree reconstruction focused on retrieving geometric features, while other factors related to urban microclimate simulation were rarely addressed. This paper presents a comprehensive literature review and in-depth analysis covering two distinct research directions in relation to urban microclimate simulation. The first one is set on the identification of key factors related to trees’ impact on urban microclimate. The second one is dedicated to approaches for three-dimensional (3D) tree reconstruction. Based on the findings, the paper identifies information including trees’ geometric, physiological characteristics and relation to the surroundings required for 3D tree reconstruction in the context of urban microclimate simulation, and further assesses the potential of the 3D tree reconstruction approaches to accommodate these pieces of information. An appropriate 3D tree reconstruction approach, which allows for the supply of the required information for urban microclimate simulation, is recommended.
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