A newly developed method, the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition, was applied to adaptively determine the timing of climatic spring onset from the daily temperature records at Stockholm during 1756–2000. Secular variations of spring onset and its relationships to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and to the temperature variability were analyzed. A clear turning point of secular trend in spring onset around 1884/1885, from delaying to advancing, was found. The delaying trend of spring onset (6.9 days/century) during 1757–1884 and the advancing one (−7 days/century) during 1885–1999 were both significant. The winter NAO indices were found to be correlated with the spring onset at Stockholm at an inter-annual timescale only for some decades, but unable to explain the change of the long-term trends. The secular change from cooling to warming around the 1880s, especially in terms of spring temperature, might have led to the secular change of spring onset.