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Wood formation dynamics of pine and birch along a south-north transect in Finnish Lapland were determined by the pinning technique. For all trees at all sites a more or less sigmoid shape of the wood formation intensity is characteristic with a slow beginning, a faster growth in the middle and a decreasing activity towards the end of the vegetation period. Wood formation of pine started at sites 1–3 (southern sites) in the second week of June and at sites 4 and 5 (northern sites) only in the last week of June, whereas wood formation ended within the first half of August. Wood formation of birch started in the second half of June and ended around the beginning of August. First cells were laid down by pine and birch when the temperature sum had reached the level of 85 to 90 degree days and 110 to 120 degree days, respectively. The intensity of wood formation in pine was highest in July, in birch within two weeks in the middle of July. Wood formation in pine lasted for about seven weeks at the southernmost and about six weeks at the northernmost site. In birch, the duration of wood formation was about five weeks at the southernmost site and around three weeks at the other sites.