Nanjing City Wall, one of the most important cultural heritages in China, has been damaged in a natural environment for centuries. Plants can be a candidate to regulate the micro-environment and mitigate the influence of local climates, which cannot be easily controlled by human efforts. Therefore, we examined the potential of the roadside trees along the City Wall to buffer the hygrothermal cycles that can deteriorate the City Wall. We surveyed the deteriorated state and measured the temperature and moisture content of the City Wall. Measured results showed smaller temperature fluctuation at shaded surface than the unshaded with a maximum temperature difference of 10.9 ℃ in summer. The measured water content decreased with height. A coupled two–dimensional hygrothermal ‘City Wall–plant’ model was proposed to clarify the influence of the roadside trees on the hygrothermal distribution of the City Wall. The proposed city wall-plant hygrothermal model could predict the surface temperature and water content well.
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