"This study examines the effect of chilling and photoperiod on rest completion and bud burst in Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] using twigs from both 15-year-old (""young trees"") and 56-year-old (""old trees"") trees. The material was transferred between September and May from outdoors to experimental forcing conditions with four different photoperiods. The bud burst percentage of the twigs from young trees generally increased in all photoperiods until the end of the year. After that it decreased until vernal equinox (March 20) and then increased steeply towards spring. This new observation of transient rest completion during autumn suggests that young trees have (I) a transient time window during late autumn when ontogenetic development is possible, and (ii) a secondary rest culminating approximately at the time of vernal equinox. In twigs from old trees the transient rest completion was much weaker as the bud burst percentages generally remained under 20 during autumn and winter. At vernal equinox there were no burst buds in twigs from the old trees in any photoperiod and after that the bud burst percentage increased basically in the same manner as in the young trees. The bud burst percentage of the twigs from young trees was generally higher as the photoperiod increased. However, no evidence for absolute long photoperiod requirement of rest completion was observed."