Four-year-old transplants of Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis (L) Link) were lifted on 28 March 1990, 30 March 1990 and 2 April 1990 during the postdormancy phase. Some of them were then watered immediately, and all of the seedlings, watered and unwatered, were kept in moist conditions within cloth sacks. A part of the watered transplants were planted immediately, whereas the others were planted after 60 min exposure. However, the unwatered transplants were subjected to drought on the ground for 0, 15, 30 and 60 min. Plants with 60 min exposure were watered before planting only. After treatments, shoot water potentials were measured using the pressure chamber technique. Best water potential, survival and growth were obtained from transplants watered after lifting. In these seedlings, exposure particularly stimulated root growth. With unwatered transplants, however, both water potential and relative increment of height or dry weight declined significantly as exposure time prolonged, but survival and rate of terminal shoots reduced only slightly.