Sorbitol and sucrose are the two main soluble carbohydrates in mature peach leaves. Both are translocated in the phloem, in peach as in other rosaceous trees. The respective role of these two soluble carbohydrates in the leaf carbon budget, and their phloem loading pathway, remain poorly documented. Though many studies have been carried out on the compartmentation and export of sucrose in sucrose-transporting species, far less is known about sorbitol in species transporting both sucrose and sorbitol. Sorbitol and sucrose concentrations were measured in several tissues and in sap, in 2-month-old peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) seedlings, i.e. leaf blade, leaf main vein, petiole, xylem sap collected using a pressure bomb, and phloem sap collected by aphid stylets. The sorbitol to sucrose molar ratio depended on the tissue or sap, the highest value (about 7) found in the leaf main vein. Sorbitol concentration in the phloem sap was about 560 mM, whereas that of sucrose was about 140 mM. The lowest sorbitol and sucrose concentrations were observed in xylem sap collected from the shoot. The volume of the leaf apoplast, estimated by infiltration with 3H-inulin, represented about 17% of the leaf blade water content. This volume was used to calculate a global intracellular concentration for each carbohydrate in the leaf blade. Following these simplifying assumptions, the calculated concentration gradient between the leaf's intracellular compartment and phloem sap is nil for sorbitol and could thus allow for the symplastic loading of the phloem of this alditol. However, infiltration of 14C-labelled source leaves with 2 mMp-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid (PC-MBS), a potent inhibitor of the sucrose carrier responsible for phloem loading in sucrose-transporting plants, had a significant effect on the exudation of both labelled sucrose and sorbitol from the phloem. Therefore, in peach, which is a putative symplastic loader according to minor vein anatomy and sorbitol concentration gradients, apoplastic loading may predominate.