The growth of urban population in Finland has resulted in increased fragmentation of urban forests and consequently increased recreational pressure on these forests. The effects of fragmentation and trampling on the ground and field layer vegetation were studied in mesic Myrtillus type Norway spruce-dominated urban forest stands of varying size in the greater Helsinki area. The number of residents living in the vicinity of the forest stands was an important factor affecting the understorey vegetation in urban forests. The cover of understorey vegetation in urban forests was remarkably lower than in rural areas, especially the ground layer cover, e.g. cover of Pleurozium schreberi, was significantly lower in urban forests than in the reference areas. Thus, the ground layer proved to be most susceptible to trampling. In the field layer, the cover of dwarf shrubs, especially of Vaccinium myrtillus, was lower in deteriorated than in undeteriorated urban forest stands.