We examined the effect of thermal treatment at two temperatures (60 s of 90 degrees C dry heat and 60 min in 40 degrees C hot water) versus control conditions on the germination of oriental spruce (Picea orientalis (L.) Link.) seeds originating from different subalpine provenances. Cutting test results showed that there was wide variation (between 10% and 90%) in filled seed rates. The results revealed that highest germination yield was attained via the hot water treatment. The maximum germination percentages were observed in seeds from "tree 3" in the first tree collective of provenances 1 (85.33 +/- 5.77 control; 88.67 +/- 7.02 via the hot water treatment; 82.00 +/- 10.58 via the dry heat treatment) and 3 (70.67 +/- 17.24 control; 88.00 +/- 4.00 via the hot water treatment; 86.67 +/- 11.37 via the dry heat treatment). The mean germination percentages were significantly different (p-value < .05): percentage values were 32.57% in provenance 1, 23.22% in provenance 3, 12.25% in provenance 4, and 2.82% in provenance 2. Mean germination time of seeds from different provenances and experiencing various pretreatments showed significant variation. The best pretreatment increase in germination rates was achieved via the wet heat method (60 min in 40 degrees C hot water).