Climate change in combination with increasing urbanization is a major challenge for our cities. Ecosystem services from the urban green play a significant role in mitigating the negative effects. Urban tree growth models are appropriate tools for the quantification of ecosystem services in some cases in dependence of the plant growth dynamics and of the changing environment. We report about the state of the art in modelling urban tree growth and ecosystem services and describe the background of urban tree growth and the provision of ecosystem services. Furthermore, we present basic growth model principles and describe and compare existing urban tree growth models. Finally we discuss the use of urban tree growth models, uncover advantages and disadvantages of the single urban tree growth models and indicate current limitations and future venues in modelling.