The aim of this work was to assess whether or not oxidative stress had developed in a dwarf shrub bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) under long-term exposure to enhanced levels of ultraviolet-B (u.v.-B) radiation. The bilberry plants were exposed to increased u.v.-B representing a 15 stratospheric ozone depletion for seven full growing seasons (19911997) at Abisko, Swedish Lapland (68N). The oxidative stress was assessed on leaves and stems by analysing ascorbate and glutathione concentrations, and activities of the closely related enzymes ascorbate peroxidase (EC 220.127.116.11) and glutathione reductase (EC 18.104.22.168). The affects of autumnal leaf senescence and stem cold hardening on these variables were also considered. The results showed that the treatment caused scarcely any response in the studied variables, indicating that u.v.-B flux representing a 15 ozone depletion under clear sky conditions is not sufficient to cause oxidative stress in the bilberry. It is suggested that no strain was evoked since adaptation was possible under such u.v.-B increases. The studied variables did, however, respond significantly to leaf senescence and especially to stem cold hardening.