During one growing period, 5-year-old spruce trees (Picea abies L., Karst.) were exposed in environmental chambers to elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide (750 cm3 m−3) and ozone (008 cm3 m−3) as single variables or in combination. Control concentrations of the gases were 350cm3 m−3CO2 and 0.02 cm3 m −3 ozone. To investigate whether an elevated CO2 concentration can prevent adverse ozone effects by reducing oxidative stress, the activities of the protective enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase were determined. Furthermore, shoot biomass, pigment and protein contents of two needle age classes were investigated. Ozone caused pigment reduction and visible injury in the previous year's needles and growth reduction in the current year's shoots. In the presence of elevated concentrations of ozone and CO2, growth reduction in the current year's shoots was prevented, but emergence of visible damage in the previous year's needles was only delayed and pigment reduction was still found. Elevated concentrations of ozone or CO2 as single variables caused a significant reduction in the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in the current year's needles. Minimum activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase and decreased peroxidase activities were found in both needle age classes from spruce trees grown at enhanced concentrations of both CO2 and ozone. These results suggest a reduced tolerance to oxidative stress in spruce trees under conditions of elevated concentrations of both CO2 and ozone.