Urban trees influence temperatures in cities. However, their effectiveness at mitigating urban heat in different climatic contexts and in comparison to treeless urban green spaces has not yet been sufficiently explored. Here, we use high-resolution satellite land surface temperatures (LSTs) and land-cover data from 293 European cities to infer the potential of urban trees to reduce LSTs. We show that urban trees exhibit lower temperatures than urban fabric across most European cities in summer and during hot extremes. Compared to continuous urban fabric, LSTs observed for urban trees are on average 0-4 K lower in Southern European regions and 8-12 K lower in Central Europe. Treeless urban green spaces are overall less effective in reducing LSTs, and their cooling effect is approximately 2-4 times lower than the cooling induced by urban trees. By revealing continental-scale patterns in the effect of trees and treeless green spaces on urban LST our results highlight the importance of considering and further investigating the climate-dependent effectiveness of heat mitigation measures in cities.